Reykjavik

Iceland

Mayor

Dagur B. Eggertsson

Population

122,141 (2015)

Lead Innovation Officer

Kristinn Jón Ólafsson

Innovation is helping to:
  • Generate new sources of revenue

  • Simplify administrative procedures for firms and residents

  • Improve service delivery

Critical success factors:
  • Human resource support

  • Leadership from Mayor

Spotlight on innovation in Reykjavik

Reykjavik’s My Neighbourhood is a collaborative project between citizens and the city administration for prioritising and allocating funds for new, smaller-scale projects and maintenance in the district of Reykjavík. The project is based on ideas on deliberative democracy, participatory democracy, participatory budgeting, promoting public participation in democratic discussions and decision-making beyond what is normally seen in a representative democracy. Experience from previous years is used to improve the process, together with expert services and input from other cities all over the world that have practiced participatory budgeting.

Vision and approach to innovation capacity

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

Policy areas that Reykjavik is focused on

Housing
Built environment
Policy areas by number of cities

Reykjavik utilizes 4 different innovation skills or roles

Project manager
Designer
Communication officer
Sociologist
Innovation roles by number of cities

As an independent body, Reykjavik’s dedicated team for innovation – Reykjavik Smart City – is led by a project manager.

Terms Reykjavik most associates with innovation

Experimentation
Resident engagement

Reykjavik's most common innovation activities

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 taking risks and testing new ideas; facilitating organisational change within the municipal administration; human-centred design; and rethinking the city’s approach to financing and partnerships.

How is innovation funded here?

Like 77% of cities surveyed, Reykjavik has dedicated funding to support innovation capacity.

Top sources of funding

Municipal budget
operating budget/grants
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.

Activities being funded

Launching or sustaining a project
Idea generation & brainstorming
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

Reykjavik also invests in digital systems and physical infrastructure.

How is innovation measured?

Reykjavik has developed partnerships to promote its innovation capacity with other public agencies, private firms, not-for-profit organisations, 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 analyse data, as well as with other cities.

Data availability by policy area

10
1
4

Sufficient data

Transport/Mobility

Economic Development

Housing and built environment

Health

Water

Environment and climate change

Education

Culture

Social inclusion and equity

Tourism

Insufficient data

Digital governance

No Response

Policing and law enforcement

Waste and sewage

Labour market and skills

Public works