Virginia Beach

United States


Robert M. "Bobby" Dyer


450,435 (2017)

Innovation Website
Lead Innovation Officer

Neva White

Innovation is helping to:
  • Improve internal government operations

  • Anticipate and manage future challenges

  • Improve service delivery

Critical success factors:
  • Focus on measurement

  • Dedicated innovation team

  • Culture of innovation in city

  • Support from outside city administration

Spotlight on innovation in Virginia Beach

Virginia Beach’s Innovation Office is in a stage of redesigning their Innovation Efforts focusing on two approaches – Human-centered design and Process improvement. The Innovation Academy aims to provide participants with a chance to experience the two ways of approaching ideas, problems, and solutions. The first Innovation Academy took place in partnership with the Alliance for Innovation and developed a pilot project for bringing ideas for innovation from throughout the municipality.

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, Virginia Beach does not have an explicit innovation strategy. Similar to 20% of cities surveyed, Virginia Beach approaches innovation capacity from a holistic/macro level.

Policy areas that Virginia Beach is focused on

Virginia Beach does not prioritise policy sectors for its innovation work.

Policy areas by number of cities

Virginia Beach utilizes 4 different innovation skills or roles

Project manager
Community engagement staff
Process improvement and organisation development staff
Innovation roles by number of cities

As an independent team within the Strategy, Innovation, Transparency, and Resiliency Department, Virginia Beach’s innovation work is led by the Chief Strategy Officer and 5 staff members.

Terms Virginia Beach most associates with innovation

Human-centered design

Virginia Beach's most common innovation activities

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

Its innovation activities also include taking risks and testing new ideas; facilitating human-centered design; and rethinking the city’s approach to financing and partnerships.

How is innovation funded here?

Like 81% of cities surveyed, Virginia Beach 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.
Non-financial resources
Non-financial resources
This could include staff on loan and/or other in-kind contributions (e.g. materials, infrastructure…)

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

Virginia Beach also provides formal innovation training for staff.

How is innovation measured?

Virginia Beach 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 philanthropy 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


Social inclusion and equity


No Response



Labour market and skills

Environment and climate change


Public works

Digital governance