United States


Keisha Lance Bottoms


486,290 (2004)

Innovation Website
Lead Innovation Officer

Matthew Bartleet

Innovation is helping to:
  • Improve internal government operations

  • Save costs and improve efficiency within the public sector

  • Improve service delivery

Critical success factors:
  • Dedicated innovation team

  • Leadership from Mayor

Spotlight on innovation in Atlanta

Note: The City Innovation Snapshot (PDF version) was produced in 2019 and some aggregate findings have been updated with the latest survey results below.

Vision and approach to innovation capacity

Along with 50% of cities surveyed, Atlanta does not have an explicit innovation strategy. Similar to 20% of cities surveyed, Atlanta approaches innovation capacity from a holistic/macro level.

Policy areas that Atlanta is focused on

Atlanta does not prioritise policy sectors for its innovation work.

Policy areas by number of cities

Atlanta utilizes 6 different innovation skills or roles

Project manager
Communication officer
Community engagement staff
Economics and policy expert
Innovation roles by number of cities

Situated in the Mayor’s office, Atlanta’s dedicated team for innovation is led by the Director of Innovation & Performance.

Terms Atlanta most associates with innovation

Data analytics

Atlanta's most common innovation activities

Promoting data-driven analytics / public data management
e.g. data storage/analytics; open data; big data
Rethinking approaches to financing and partnerships
e.g. new public-private-partnerships; collaboration with neighboring jurisdictions
Facilitating organizational change within the municipality
e.g. silo-busting; new internal performance management; staff training and capacity building on innovation tools or techniques; reforms to contracting or procurement
  1. 1

    Taking risks or testing new ideas

  2. 2

    Data-driven analytics/public data management

  3. 3

    Engaging residents in new ways

  4. 4

    Developing new solutions based on digital technologies

  5. 5

    Organizational change within the municipality

  6. 6

    Human-centered design

  7. 7

    Rethinking your city’s approach to financing partnerships

How is innovation funded here?

Like 81% of cities surveyed, Atlanta has dedicated funding to support innovation capacity.

Top sources of funding

Municipal budget
City council approved funds/operating budget.
Municipal budget
This could include, for instance, City Council approved funds; operating budget; a special funding process (bond, Mayoral special initiative funding, etc.); and participatory budgeting / citizen-selected budgeting.

Activities being funded

Launching or sustaining a project
Idea generation & brainstorming
47 cities
Launching or sustaining a project
79 cities
Idea generation & brainstorming
51 cities
Investing in digital systems
36 cities
Investing in physical infrastructure
30 cities
Paying for services

Atlanta also invests in digital systems.

How is innovation measured?

Atlanta’s innovation work is internal to the city administration.

To improve data use, the city has also developed data partnerships with academia, think tanks, and philanthropy to collect and analyze data, as well as with other cities.

Data availability by policy area


Sufficient data


Economic Development

Housing and built environment

Policing and law enforcement


Waste and sewage

Digital governance

Insufficient data

Labour market and skills

Social inclusion and equity


No Response


Environment and climate change



Public works