Tallahassee, FL

United States


John Dailey


193,000 (2018)

Lead Innovation Officers

Christian Doolin, Tim Davis

Innovation is helping to:
  • Improve internal government operations

  • Anticipate and manage future challenges

  • Service current obligations

Critical success factors:
  • Dedicated funding

  • Dedicated innovation team

  • Culture of innovation in city

  • Leadership from Mayor

Spotlight on innovation in Tallahassee, FL

Tallahassee uses innovation insights to drive the TEMPO (Tallahassee Engaged in Meaningful Productivity for Opportunity) Program, which identifies disconnected youth lacking access to employment and education opportunities or social services and provides them with supplementary targeted support. Additionally, the city has also worked with a research team from Florida A&M University to assess how the city can access fiber optic internet service, leading to expanded telecommunication services, in progress toward Tallahassee’s aim to be the first gigabit City in the State.

Vision and approach to innovation capacity

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

Policy areas that Tallahassee, FL is focused on

Economic Development
Labour market and skills

While developing the City's strategic plan, the city considered how several policy areas will change in the coming 5 years. An area of focus has been the Tallahassee International Airport and its economic impact on the region.

Policy areas by number of cities

Tallahassee, FL utilizes 6 different innovation skills or roles

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

Situated in the City Manager's office, Tallahassee’s Strategic Innovation team consists of 5 staff, while the Technology and Innovation team has 15 staff specifically assigned to innovation work.

Terms Tallahassee, FL most associates with innovation

Human-centered design
Data analytics

Tallahassee, FL's most common innovation activities

Taking risks and testing new ideas
e.g. prototyping new programs or models to address a persistent city challenge
Rethinking approaches to financing and partnerships
e.g. new public-private-partnerships; collaboration with neighboring jurisdictions
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
Engaging residents in new ways
Developing new solutions based on digital technologies
e.g. use of drones or smart sensors
  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, Tallahassee, FL 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
Investing in digital systems
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, Tallahassee'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?

Tallahassee 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, private philanthropy, 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

Waste and sewage

Labour market and skills

Environment and climate change


Social inclusion and equity

Public works

Land use

Insufficient data




Social welfare/social services

Built environment


No Response

Digital governance