Rafael Greca de Macedo


1,930,000 (2019)

Lead Innovation Officer

Cris Alessi

Innovation is helping to:
  • Save costs and improve efficiency within the public sector

  • Generate new sources of revenue

  • Simplify administrative procedures for firms and residents

Critical success factors:
  • Dedicated funding

  • Focus on measurement

  • Dedicated innovation team

  • Support from outside city administration

  • Leadership from Mayor

  • policies to disseminate the culture of innovation among residents

  • staff training on partnerships and financing opportunities

Spotlight on innovation in Curitiba

In 2018, Curitiba enshrined its innovation goals and strategy into a law developed within the Pinhão Valley program. The Innovation Law was approved by city council and sanctioned by the mayor of Curitiba after being developed with inputs from local universities and industry associations. The law aims to promote innovation and technological research by enabling Curitiba to establish tax incentives, enter into public private partnerships with firms and universities, develop innovation and technology projects, and access various types of funding. Curitiba believes that partnering with local technology, research, and investment resources will increase its ability to bring innovative change to residents.

Vision and approach to innovation capacity

Along with 50% of cities surveyed, Curitiba has an explicit innovation strategy. Similar to more than half of cities surveyed, Curitiba approaches innovation capacity both from a holistic/macro level, as well as in specific policy areas.

Policy areas that Curitiba is focused on

Economic Development
Government finance

Economic development: Curitiba created public co-working spaces for companies/entrepreneurs that did not have the necessary resources to develop their ideas and projects. These incubator spaces enable innovators to better focus on their creations, without worrying about paying for utilities and other basic expenses that could undermine their deliverables.

Government finance: In 2017, we were able to approve a financial recovery plan to reduce administrative costs, implement a new pension fund system, and pay overdue debts. This plan, which was adopted in different Brazilian cities after Curitiba's success, allowed the City Hall to maintain positive cash flow and resume stalled investments.

Policy areas by number of cities

Curitiba utilizes 5 different innovation skills or roles

Project manager
Data scientist
Community engagement staff
Communication officer
Innovation roles by number of cities

Curitiba’s innovation work is sprinkled throughout the municipal administration. Although Curitiba has an Agency for Development and Innovation, city staff working on innovation are not restricted to working in this department.

Terms Curitiba most associates with innovation

Human-centered design
Innovation ecosystem

Curitiba's most common innovation activities

Human-centered design
e.g. prioritizing the end-user at each stage of the design process
  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, Curitiba has dedicated funding to support innovation capacity.

Top sources of funding

International/multilateral institution budget
International/multilateral institution budget
This refers to resources from international and/or multilateral institutions’ budgets (i.e. European Union)
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.
External funding
External funding
This could include private, philanthropic/non-profit and/or academic/think tank resources.

Activities being funded

As the Innovation Fund was approved at the end of 2019, activities being funded are still being defined.

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?

Curitiba has developed partnerships to promote innovation capacity with other public agencies, private firms, not-for-profit organizations, and city residents/resident associations.

Data availability by policy area


Sufficient data

Economic Development

Policing and law enforcement


Government finance

Waste and sewage



Public works


Land use

Built environment

Social welfare/social services

Insufficient data



Environment and climate change

Labour market and skills

Social inclusion and equity

Digital governance