Saint Paul

United States

Mayor

Melvin Carter

Population

306,621 (2017)

Innovation Website
Lead Innovation Officer

Tarek Tomes

Innovation is helping to:
  • Improve internal government operations

  • Save costs and improve efficiency within the public sector

  • Improve service delivery

Critical success factors:
  • Dedicated funding

  • Focus on measurement

  • Dedicated innovation team

  • Leadership from Mayor

  • Culture of innovation in city

  • Engagement with partners

  • Support from outside city administration

Spotlight on innovation in Saint Paul

Saint Paul has invested in open information tools as well as data visualisation capabilities to provide powerful insights into critical service areas.

  • The city’s vacant building inventory has seen a direct reduction as a result of sharing building information on the open information portal.
  • There are also visualisation dashboards that provide in-depth analysis for traffic stops within Saint Paul. Information includes demographics or motorists stopped, demographics for officers making the stop, reason for stops, vehicle searches, people searches.

Vision and approach to innovation capacity

Along with 44% of cities surveyed, Saint Paul has an explicit innovation strategy. Similar to 24% of cities surveyed, Saint Paul approaches innovation capacity from a holistic/macro level.

Policy areas that Saint Paul is focused on

Digital governance
Policy areas by number of cities

Saint Paul utilizes 4 different innovation skills or roles

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

Situated in the Mayor’s office, Saint Paul’s dedicated team for innovation is led by the Chief Innovation Officer. They have a plan to increase staff with a “virtual” team of innovation consultants from each department.

Terms Saint Paul most associates with innovation

Big picture re-thinking
Data analytics

Saint Paul'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
Engaging residents in new ways
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
Rethinking approaches to financing and partnerships
e.g. new public-private-partnerships; collaboration with neighboring jurisdictions
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 77% of cities surveyed, Saint Paul 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.

Activities being funded

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

How is innovation measured?

Saint Paul 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 academia and think tanks to collect and analyse data, as well as with other cities.

Data availability by policy area

3
3
9

Sufficient data

Transport/Mobility

Policing and law enforcement

Environment and climate change

Insufficient data

Economic Development

Housing and built environment

Social inclusion and equity

No Response

Health

Water

Waste and sewage

Labour market and skills

Education

Culture

Public works

Tourism

Digital governance