Long Beach

United States


Robert Garcia


480,000 (2018)

Lead Innovation Officers

Tracy Colunga, Lauren Vargas

Innovation is helping to:
  • Improve service delivery

  • Generate new sources of revenue

  • Improve resident outcomes

Critical success factors:
  • Dedicated funding

  • Dedicated innovation team

  • Culture of innovation in city

  • Support from outside city administration

Spotlight on innovation in Long Beach

Long Beach launched a first-of-its kind Justice Lab to provide new tools to first responders to divert residents in need out of the criminal justice system and toward much-needed resources like treatment and care. The Justice Lab was developed through a partnership between the City’s Innovation Team, and the Long Beach Public Safety Continuum. The Continuum consists of Police, Fire, Health, and Development Services Departments; the City Prosecutor’s Office; neighborhood associations; non-profits; and residents who work collaboratively to make Long Beach a better and safer place. The Lab has several initiatives designed to help break the cycle of incarceration.

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

Policy areas that Long Beach is focused on

Economic Development
Policing and law enforcement
Policy areas by number of cities

Long Beach utilizes 7 different innovation skills or roles

Project manager
Data scientist
Communication officer
Masters level social worker
Cultural anthropologist
Innovation roles by number of cities

Situated in the City Manager’s office, along with designated staff in the Mayor’s office, Long Beach’s dedicated team for innovation consists of 10 staff.

Terms Long Beach most associates with innovation

Data analytics
Human-centered design

Long Beach's most common innovation activities

Rethinking approaches to financing and partnerships
e.g. new public-private-partnerships; collaboration with neighboring jurisdictions
  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, Long Beach has dedicated funding to support innovation capacity.

Top sources of funding

Municipal budget
city council approved funds/operating 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
philanthropy/nonprofit/academic/think tank resources
External funding
This could include private, philanthropic/non-profit and/or academic/think tank resources.
Non-financial resources
in-kind contributions
Non-financial resources
This could include staff on loan and/or other in-kind contributions (e.g. materials, infrastructure…)

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

Long Beach also invests in digital systems and physical infrastructure as well as paying for services to a third party.

How is innovation measured?

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

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

Data availability by policy area


Sufficient data

Economic Development

Policing and law enforcement


Labour market and skills


Digital governance

Insufficient data


Housing and built environment


Waste and sewage

Environment and climate change



Social inclusion and equity

No Response

Public works