Philippe Close



Innovation Website
Lead Innovation Officers

Katlijn Perneel, Filis Zumbultas

Innovation is helping to:
  • Simplify administrative procedures for firms and residents

  • Improve service delivery

  • Improve resident outcomes

Spotlight on innovation in Brussels

Brussels is currently engaging in a transformation of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) infrastructure, jointly developed and supported by the city administration and its partner i-City. With a citizen-centered approach, Brussels has introduced an integrated front office using an omnichannel strategy that focuses on providing a cohesive user experience for citizens regardless of the channels used (physical, digital, phone, mail, etc.) at every point of contact. The administration has already introduced the e-desk, and continues to widen the range of online services offered by adopting a disruptive approach to digitalization.

Vision and approach to innovation capacity

Along with 50% of cities surveyed, Brussels has an explicit innovation strategy.

Brussels is currently focusing on an internal rethink of their Human Resources and City Administrative Service.

Policy areas that Brussels is focused on

Brussels does not prioritise policy sectors for its innovation work.

Policy areas by number of cities

Brussels utilizes 1 innovation skill or role

Project manager
Innovation roles by number of cities

Brussels’ innovation work is sprinkled throughout the municipality. The city’s dedicated innovation team consists of 3 staff.

Terms Brussels most associates with innovation

Big picture re-thinking
Human-centered design

Brussels' most common innovation activities

Developing new solutions based on digital technologies
e.g. use of drones or smart sensors
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, Brussels has dedicated funding to support innovation capacity.

Top sources of funding

Municipal 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

Investing in digital systems
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

*"Training staff and building capacity" is not an option in the 2018 survey, while "Launching or sustaining a project" is not an option in the 2020 survey.

How is innovation measured?

Innovation work has been internal to the city administration, with no major data partnerships aimed at collecting or analyzing data to fuel innovation capacity or strategy.

Data availability by policy area


Sufficient data

Labour market and skills


Land use

Built environment


Insufficient data



Waste and sewage

Social welfare/social services

Social inclusion and equity

Public works

Policing and law enforcement



Government finance

Environment and climate change


Digital governance

Economic Development