Montgomery, AL

United States


Steven L. Reed


205,501 (2010)

Innovation Website
Lead Innovation Officer

Marcus Holt

Innovation is helping to:
  • Save costs and improve efficiency within the public sector

  • Improve internal government operations

  • Improve service delivery

Critical success factors:
  • Dedicated funding

  • Focus on measurement

  • Dedicated innovation team

  • Culture of innovation in city

  • Engagement with partners

  • Support from outside city administration

  • Leadership from Mayor

Spotlight on innovation in Montgomery, AL

Montgomery is partnering with community members like the Maxwell Air Force Base to leverage local expertise with the aim of enhancing the city’s innovation capacity and developing the tech sector workforce. The city has also designed a program to identify and prevent blighted and abandoned property through the analysis of data pulled from utility firms and housing codes. Innovation goals set by the Mayor, include appointing a Chief Innovation Officer and establishing consistent funding for innovative projects.

Vision and approach to innovation capacity

Along with 50% of cities surveyed, Montgomery, AL does not have an explicit innovation strategy. Similar to more than half of cities surveyed, Montgomery, AL approaches innovation capacity both from a holistic/macro level, as well as in specific policy areas.

Policy areas that Montgomery, AL is focused on

Digital governance
Equitable neighborhoods and services

Equitable neighborhoods and services: Montgomery partnered on a pilot project to streamline the process of gathering external data (e.g. water bills, electricity usage, etc.) to better detect potential blighted and abandoned properties. This digital platform/tool has helped to drastically reduce their response to blight in neighborhoods. Another component of the fight against blight is repairing roads, potholes and irregular neighborhood issues. Montgomery partnered with civic tech provider Rubicon on a pilot project allowing them to turn their Sanitation fleet into "roaming data collectors" for City hall. Sanitation team members can flag these issues while on their routes, which will be directed to a platform shared with team leaders and other department inside our government.

Digital Governance: The city has launched live streaming, real-time video feeds of City Council Meetings and other public events. Montgomery also worked to streamline the process of completing forms for event organizers. They are also utilizing a public safety tool that taps camera feeds voluntarily shared by residents and businesses, bringing them all to one central MPD location that has helped improve public safety by serving as a force multiplier.

Policy areas by number of cities

Montgomery, AL utilizes 5 different innovation skills or roles

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

Montgomery has an innovation-related task group with delegates from different departments. The city’s IT Director leads a cross-departmental team consisting of 10 staff.

Terms Montgomery, AL most associates with innovation

Technological innovation
Resident engagement

Montgomery, AL's most common innovation activities

Taking risks and testing new ideas
e.g. prototyping new programs or models to address a persistent city challenge
Promoting data-driven analytics / public data management
e.g. data storage/analytics; open data; big data
Rethinking approaches to financing and partnerships
e.g. new public-private-partnerships; collaboration with neighboring jurisdictions
Developing new solutions based on digital technologies
e.g. use of drones or smart sensors
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
Engaging residents in new ways
Human-centered design
e.g. prioritizing the end-user at each stage of the design process
  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, Montgomery, AL 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.
External funding
External funding
This could include private, philanthropic/non-profit and/or academic/think tank resources.
Innovative financing tools
e.g. Social Impact Bonds, Crowdsourcing
Non-financial resources
Non-financial resources
This could include staff on loan and/or other in-kind contributions (e.g. materials, infrastructure…)

Activities being funded

Investing in digital systems
Investing in physical infrastructure
Paying for services
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, Montgomery'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?

Montgomery has developed partnerships to promote 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 and think tanks, to collect and analyze data, as well as with other cities.

Data availability by policy area


Sufficient data


Economic Development


Policing and law enforcement

Government finance

Labour market and skills

Social inclusion and equity

Social welfare/social services

Waste and sewage


Environment and climate change

Public works

Land use



Built environment

Digital governance


Insufficient data