Burkhard Jung


600,000 (2019)

Lead Innovation Officer

Ulrich Hörning

Innovation is helping to:
  • Improve internal government operations

  • Anticipate and manage future challenges

  • Simplify administrative procedures for firms and residents

Critical success factors:
  • Dedicated funding

  • Human resource support

  • Culture of innovation in city

  • Dedicated innovation team

  • Leadership from Mayor

Spotlight on innovation in Leipzig

Launched in 2012, the pilot project “Leipzig Thinking Ahead” has become a coordination center for civic participation within the City Council. By bringing together a wide range of stakeholders such as residents, politicians, policymakers, and experts, the initiative aims to resolve the challenges related to sustainable urban development in the city. “Leipzig Thinking Ahead” has helped foster a culture of resident engagement through various innovative methods such as virtual spaces, a future series, surveys, and even the creative use of LEGO building blocks for co-creating a vision for the city.

Vision and approach to innovation capacity

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

Policy areas that Leipzig is focused on

Environment and climate change
Policy areas by number of cities

Leipzig utilizes 3 different innovation skills or roles

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

Leipzig’s innovation work is sprinkled throughout the municipal administration.

Terms Leipzig most associates with innovation

Data analytics
Resident engagement

Leipzig's most common innovation activities

Taking risks and testing new ideas
e.g. prototyping new programs or models to address a persistent city challenge
  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, Leipzig 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

Idea generation & brainstorming
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

Similar to 61% of participating cities in the 2020 survey, Leipzig's funding for innovation capacity is also directed towards training staff and building capacity*.

*"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?

Leipzig has developed partnerships to promote innovation capacity with other public agencies and city residents/resident associations.

To improve data use, the city has also developed data partnerships with the State’s Statistical Office, the National Labor Agency and other environmental institutions to collect and analyze data.

Data availability by policy area


Sufficient data


Economic Development



Policing and law enforcement

Government finance

Social inclusion and equity

Labour market and skills


Environment and climate change



Public works

Land use

Waste and sewage


Built environment

Insufficient data


Social welfare/social services