New York City

United States


Bill de Blasio


8,620,000 (2017)

Innovation Website
Lead Innovation Officer

Matthew Klein

Innovation is helping to:
  • Improve service delivery

  • Improve resident outcomes

  • Improve internal government operations

Critical success factors:
  • Dedicated funding

  • Focus on measurement

  • Dedicated innovation team

  • Leadership from Mayor

Spotlight on innovation in New York City

New York City Mayor’s Office for Economic Opportunity (NYC Opportunity) uses innovation to reduce poverty and increase equity. The Office advances research, data and design in the City’s program and policy development, service delivery, and budget decisions. NYC Opportunity also manages a discrete fund and works collaboratively with City agencies to design, test and oversee new programs and digital products. Recently, NYC Opportunity launched the Service Design Studio, the first municipal team dedicated to applying service design methodologies to issues facing low-income residents.

Vision and approach to innovation capacity

Along with 56% of cities surveyed, New York City does not have an explicit innovation strategy. Similar to over one-third of cities surveyed, New York City approaches innovation capacity in specific policy areas/domains.

Policy areas that New York City is focused on

Social welfare/social services
Policing and law enforcement
Policy areas by number of cities

New York City utilizes 5 different innovation skills or roles

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

New York City’s innovation work is sprinkled throughout the municipal administration.

Terms New York City most associates with innovation

Technological innovation

New York City'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
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
  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 77% of cities surveyed, New York City has dedicated funding to support innovation capacity.

Top sources of funding

Municipal budget
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

Launching or sustaining a project
55 cities
Launching or sustaining a project
53 cities
Idea generation & brainstorming
3 cities
Investing in digital systems
2 cities
Investing in physical infrastructure
2 cities
Paying for services

New York City also invests in digital systems.

How is innovation measured?

New York City has developed partnerships to promote its innovation capacity with other public agencies, private firms, and not-for-profit organisations.

To improve data use, the city has also developed data partnerships with academia, think tanks, and private philanthropy to collect and analyse data.

Data availability by policy area


Sufficient data


Economic Development

Housing and built environment

Policing and law enforcement



Waste and sewage

Labour market and skills

Environment and climate change



Social inclusion and equity

Public works


Digital governance