The future of city innovation

Cities are the places where humanity’s greatest challenges—from climate change to migration to inequality—impact the most people. They’re also where ambitious leaders are stepping up to think creatively about how to keep moving their communities forward. This week, Bloomberg Cities speaks with some of the world’s leading urban thinkers about where it’s all headed. We ask mayors, innovators, researchers, futurists, and even the Academy Award-winning production designer behind the city in Black Panther’s Wakanda, the same question: What’s the one thing you hope will happen in the world of public-sector innovation over the next 10 years?

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City ideas worth stealing

Helping cities borrow ideas from each other is a big part of our mission at Bloomberg Cities. So, as we publish the 100th edition of Spark, we ask 10 innovative city leaders how they do it. What ideas have they borrowed from other cities? What idea should other cities borrow from them? Here’s what they had to say.

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JUSTICE: How a partnership in Durham, N.C., is helping justice-involved residents get back on their feet by clearing unpaid traffic fines and court fees so they can get their driver’s licenses back. (Indy Week)

INNOVATION: The OECD’s newly released Principles on Urban Policy include a call for building innovation capacity of public officials at all levels of government. (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development)

URBAN PLANNING: How global cities such as Los Angeles, Hamburg, Shanghai, La Paz, and Atlanta are taking different approaches—from cable cars to building parks—to rein in urban sprawl. (National Geographic)

EQUITY: Municipal ID cards are taking off in Chicago, Detroit, and other cities across the U.S. as an alternative form of identification to driver’s licenses or passports that can gain residents to access local services. (GovTech)


JOB POSTING: Results for America is seeking a Senior Manager to help design and implement What Works Cities’ new economic development initiative.

JOB POSTING: The city of Baltimore is seeking a Data Science Fellow to join the city’s innovation team.

TRAINING OPPORTUNITIES: Staff from cities that have completed a What Works Cities Certification assessment can participate for free in Sprints and courses offered through the What Works Cities Academy to boost their skills around a variety of foundational data practices.

Contact us to share events and job postings with the Bloomberg Cities network.

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