Fort Lauderdale

United States


Dean J. Trantalis


182,827 (2018)

Lead Innovation Officer

Aricka Johnson

Innovation is helping to:
  • Improve internal government operations

  • Save costs and improve efficiency within the public sector

Critical success factors:
  • Dedicated funding

  • Focus on measurement

  • Leadership from City Manager

  • Culture of innovation in city

  • Support from outside city administration

Spotlight on innovation in Fort Lauderdale

As a part of all initiatives, Fort Lauderdale uses vision-based strategic planning that is reflective of community priorities and inclusive of employee subject-matter expertise. This is prominently displayed in the City’s Vision, Strategic, and Commission Annual Action Plans. Below are a few examples of the work currently underway in the City of Fort Lauderdale:

  • The City is pursuing an Open Data initiative, affirming its commitment to honest, transparent, and effective government.
  • The City continues its commitment to providing quality services and continuous improvement through its ISO 9001:2015 certification.
  • The City continues to build upon Lean Process Improvement principles and will launch a green belt certification academy to further engrain process improvement strategies in our workforce.

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, Fort Lauderdale does not have an explicit innovation strategy. Similar to 24% of cities surveyed, Fort Lauderdale approaches innovation capacity in specific policy areas/domains.

While it does not have a formal definition of innovation, the City focuses its innovation efforts on quality management, data analytics, process improvement, and strategic planning.

Policy areas that Fort Lauderdale is focused on

Internal process improvement
Open data initiative
Policy areas by number of cities

Fort Lauderdale utilizes 5 different innovation skills or roles

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

Situated in the City Manager’s Office, Fort Lauderdale’s dedicated team for innovation consists of 8 staff including two ICMA Local Government Management Fellows, three senior performance analysts, leadership, and administrative support.

Terms Fort Lauderdale most associates with innovation

Data analytics
Process improvement

Fort Lauderdale's most common innovation activities

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
Developing new solutions based on digital technologies
e.g. use of drones or smart sensors
Human-centered design
e.g. prioritizing the end-user at each stage of the design process
Promoting data-driven analytics / public data management
e.g. data storage/analytics; open data; big data
  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, Fort Lauderdale has dedicated funding to support innovation capacity.

Top sources of funding

Municipal budget
City commission approved funds
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

Fort Lauderdale also invests in digital systems and physical infrastructure, as well as consultations with third-party thought leaders.

How is innovation measured?

Fort Lauderdale has developed partnerships to promote its innovation capacity with other public agencies, not-for-profit organizations, city neighbors, and neighborhoods, civic and homeowners associations.

To improve data use, the City has also developed data partnerships with philanthropic organizations and other cities to collect and analyze data.

Data availability by policy area


Sufficient data


Economic Development

Housing and built environment

Policing and law enforcement


Waste and sewage

Environment and climate change


Public works


Insufficient data


Labour market and skills

Social inclusion and equity

Digital governance