United States


Jim Gray


321,959 (2017)

Innovation Website
Lead Innovation Officer

Scott Shapiro

Innovation is helping to:
  • Improve resident outcomes

  • Anticipate and manage future challenges

  • Improve internal government operations

Critical success factors:
  • Dedicated innovation team

  • Leadership from Mayor

Spotlight on innovation in Lexington

Lexington is well on its way to becoming the largest gigabit city in the country. Through partnership with the private sector provider, the 100 million USD project will bring fast television, telephone, and internet service to the city as early as fall 2018. The idea behind the city’s innovation capacity is to bring to life transformational projects that fall outside the way the city typically functions.

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, Lexington has an explicit innovation strategy. Similar to 20% of cities surveyed, Lexington approaches innovation capacity from a holistic/macro level.

Policy areas that Lexington is focused on

Economic Development
Policy areas by number of cities

Lexington utilizes 1 innovation skill or role

Policy entrepreneur
Innovation roles by number of cities

Situated in the Mayor’s office, Lexington’s dedicated team for innovation consists of less than 5 staff.

Innovation projects are presented to either the Mayor or an advisory board for decision.

Terms Lexington most associates with innovation

Big picture re-thinking
Data analytics

Lexington's most common innovation activities

Engaging residents in new ways
  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, Lexington has dedicated funding to support innovation capacity.

Top sources of funding

Municipal budget
city council 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.
External funding
philanthropy/non-profit/ academia/think tanks
External funding
This could include private, philanthropic/non-profit and/or academic/think tank resources.

Activities being funded

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

Lexington also invests in physical infrastructure.

How is innovation measured?

Lexington has developed partnerships to promote its innovation capacity with departments in the city, private firms, not-for-profit organizations, and city residents/resident associations. The city has also fostered partnerships with academia/think tanks, philanthropy, and other cities.

Data availability by policy area


Sufficient data


Housing and built environment

Policing and law enforcement

Waste and sewage

Social inclusion and equity

Insufficient data

Economic Development

Labour market and skills

Environment and climate change


Digital governance

No Response




Public works