United States


Greg Fischer


616,261 (2016)

Innovation Website
Lead Innovation Officer

Grace Simrall

Innovation is helping to:
  • Anticipate and manage future challenges

  • Improve resident outcomes

  • Engage residents and other stakeholders

Critical success factors:
  • Focus on measurement

  • Dedicated innovation team

  • Leadership from Mayor

  • Culture of innovation in city

  • Support from outside city administration

Spotlight on innovation in Louisville

Louisville’s innovation strategy aims to co-create breakthroughs for urgent challenges through an equity lens. The city has leveraged the existing data in the city's stat program, LouieStat, and in their open data portal. A Data Governance Committee comprised of representatives from all agencies has been created to work on breakthrough innovations using data. Furthermore, Louisville has developed the Open Government Coalition to help other cities take advantage of private sector data sharing agreements and deploy pre-built solutions to make the data actionable.

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

Policy areas that Louisville is focused on

Public safety
Policy areas by number of cities

Louisville utilizes 4 different innovation skills or roles

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

Louisville’s dedicated team for innovation consists of 5 staff in the Office of Civic Innovation.

Terms Louisville most associates with innovation

Big picture re-thinking
Technological innovation

Louisville's most common innovation activities

Taking risks and testing new ideas
e.g. prototyping new programs or models to address a persistent city challenge
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
Human-centered design
e.g. prioritizing the end-user at each stage of the design process
Rethinking approaches to financing and partnerships
e.g. new public-private-partnerships; collaboration with neighboring jurisdictions
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, Louisville 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
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

Louisville also invests in digital systems and physical infrastructure.

How is innovation measured?

Louisville has developed partnerships to promote its innovation capacity with other public agencies, private firms, 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 philanthropy to collect and analyze data, as well as with other cities.

Data availability by policy area


Sufficient data


Economic Development

Housing and built environment

Policing and law enforcement


Labour market and skills

Environment and climate change

Insufficient data



Social inclusion and equity


No Response


Waste and sewage

Public works

Digital governance