United States


Jim Ardis


112,883 (2017)

Lead Innovation Officer

Anthony Corso

Innovation is helping to:
  • Engage residents and other stakeholders

  • Generate new sources of revenue

  • Improve internal government operations

Critical success factors:
  • Dedicated innovation team

  • Focus on measurement

  • Dedicated funding

  • Human resource support

  • Leadership from Mayor

  • Engagement with partners

  • Support from outside city administration

Spotlight on innovation in Peoria

Peoria has developed a community engagement effort focused on building the innovation capacity of residents and other community stakeholders towards fostering the economic vitality of a neighborhood corridor. The effort, known as Help Shape West Main, began in the fall of 2017 and was based on the premise that the City did not always have the resources or purview to tackle community challenges alone, but did have the power to convene residents and stakeholders. The effort focused on "convening around doing" through the facilitation of new partnerships and testing of new, incremental ideas through those partnerships.

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

Policy areas that Peoria is focused on

Built environment
Economic Development
Policy areas by number of cities

Peoria utilizes 3 different innovation skills or roles

Project manager
Community engagement staff
Innovation roles by number of cities

Situated in the City Manager’s office, Peoria’s dedicated team for innovation is led by the Chief Innovation Officer (i-team Director) and consists of 3 staff members and 2 part-time interns.

Terms Peoria most associates with innovation

Big picture re-thinking

Peoria's most common innovation activities

Taking risks and testing new ideas
e.g. prototyping new programs or models to address a persistent city challenge
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

Its innovation activities also include facilitating organizational change within the municipal administration; human-centered design; and rethinking the city’s approach to financing and partnerships.

How is innovation funded here?

Like 81% of cities surveyed, Peoria 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.

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

Peoria also invests in digital systems.

How is innovation measured?

Peoria 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, and think tanks to collect and analyze data.

Data availability by policy area


Sufficient data


Economic Development

Housing and built environment

Policing and law enforcement


Waste and sewage

Digital governance

Insufficient data


Labour market and skills

Environment and climate change



Social inclusion and equity


No Response

Public works