Costa Rica


Alicia Borja Rodríguez


32,443 (2012)

Lead Innovation Officer

Irene Garcia Brenes

Innovation is helping to:
  • Anticipate and manage future challenges

  • Serve current obligations

  • Improve service delivery

  • Improve resident outcomes

Critical success factors:
  • Focus on measurement

  • Dedicated innovation team

  • Leadership from Mayor

  • Engagement with partners

  • Support from outside city administration

Spotlight on innovation in Curridibat

Curridabat has a development vision called “Sweet City Framework” vision based on five dimensions – Biodiversity, Infrastructure, Habitat, Coexistence and Productivity. The Framework mandates the city’s innovation work.

For instance, the city has implemented a successful funding initiative called “Spaces of Sweetness”, which aims to redesign Curridabat’s neighbourhoods to harmonise their infrastructure with biodiversity. The participatory process of the initiative resulted in a comprehensive proposal to set up collaborative workspaces and change land use as well as mobilising real estate investment through Public-Private Partnerships between the municipality, private landowners and developers.

Vision and approach to innovation capacity

Along with 44% of cities surveyed, Curridibat has an explicit innovation strategy. Similar to 24% of cities surveyed, Curridibat approaches innovation capacity from a holistic/macro level.

Policy areas that Curridibat is focused on

Environment and climate change
Policy areas by number of cities

Curridibat utilizes 4 different innovation skills or roles

Health professional
Innovation roles by number of cities

Situated in the Mayor’s office, Curridabat’s dedicated work for innovation is led by the Mayor’s Office Director and biotechnology engineer.

Terms Curridibat most associates with innovation

Human-centered design
Data analytics

Curridibat's most common innovation activities

  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

Curridabat’s innovation activity includes various kinds of activities including taking risks and testing new ideas; facilitating data-driven analytics; engaging residents in new ways; developing new solutions based on digital technologies; facilitating organisational change within the municipal administration; human-centred design; and rethinking the city’s approach to financing and partnerships.

How is innovation funded here?

Like 77% of cities surveyed, Curridibat 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

Launching or sustaining a project
Idea generation & brainstorming
55 cities
Launching or sustaining a project
53 cities
Idea generation & brainstorming
3 cities
Investing in digital systems
2 cities
Investing in physical infrastructure
2 cities
Paying for services

Curridabat also invests in digital systems and physical infrastructure as well as paying for services.

How is innovation measured?

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

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

Data availability by policy area


Sufficient data


Housing and built environment


Waste and sewage

Environment and climate change

Insufficient data

Economic Development

Policing and law enforcement


Labour market and skills



Social inclusion and equity


Digital governance

No Response

Public works