United States


G. T. Bynum


403,090 (2016)

Lead Innovation Officer

James Wagner

Innovation is helping to:
  • Improve internal government operations

  • Improve service delivery

  • Service current obligations

Critical success factors:
  • Dedicated innovation team

  • Leadership from Mayor

  • Culture of innovation in city

Spotlight on innovation in Tulsa

Tulsa operates several programs and trainings to elevate individuals and connect them to individuals and networks where their skills and passions can best be utilized.

Urban Data Pioneers program combines subject-matter experts from the City Hall with people from the community to work on data analytics projects. The Civic Innovation Fellowship connects six curated citizens with a big civic problem and intense training to develop a solution.

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, Tulsa has an explicit innovation strategy. Similar to 20% of cities surveyed, Tulsa approaches innovation capacity from a holistic/macro level.

Policy areas that Tulsa is focused on

Social inclusion and equity
Policy areas by number of cities

Tulsa utilizes 3 different innovation skills or roles

Public manager
Data scientist
City planner/engineer
Innovation roles by number of cities

Situated in the Mayor’s office, Tulsa’s dedicated team for innovation consists of 3 staff.

Terms Tulsa most associates with innovation

Data analytics

Tulsa'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
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
  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 often include human-centered design.

How is innovation funded here?

Like 81% of cities surveyed, Tulsa 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
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

How is innovation measured?

Tulsa has developed partnerships to promote its innovation capacity with other public agencies, 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


Policing and law enforcement


Social inclusion and equity

Digital governance

Insufficient data

Economic Development

Housing and built environment



No Response

Waste and sewage

Labour market and skills

Environment and climate change


Public works