In the face of pressing challenges in any number of key areas, city governments are hungry to break away from business as usual. See more from City Accelerator 

Cities across the country are hungry to break away from business as usual. Faced with enormous social and economic challenges, leaders inside and outside of City Hall are looking for ways to break down barriers, redesign processes and test innovations that can improve the lives of residents, especially those with low incomes.

City Accelerator advances these leading, game-changing innovations in local governments by supporting and engaging with cohorts of three to five cities, each focused on a different topic and led by an expert in the field. The following City Accelerator cohorts have launched since 2014:

Cohort I - Embedding a Culture of Innovation in Local Government
Sites: Louisville; Nashville; Philadelphia
Cohort lead: Nigel Jacob, Office of New Urban Mechanics, City of Boston
Launched: September 2014 (Concluded)

Cohort II - Revitalizing Community Engagement
Sites: Albuquerque; Atlanta; Baltimore; New Orleans; Seattle
Cohort lead: Eric Gordon, Engagement Lab @ Emerson College
Launched: March 2015 (Concluded)

Cohort III- Infrastructure Finance
Sites: Pittsburgh; St. Paul, MN; San Francisco; Washington, DC
Cohort lead: Jen Mayer, formerly of Ernst & Young Infrastructure Advisory
Launched: April 2016 (Active)

Cohort IV- Procurement and Equity Sites: Charlotte, NC; Chicago; Los Angeles; Memphis, TN; Milwaukee, WI Cohort lead: Griffin & Strong Launched: June 2017 (Active)

Each City Accelerator cohort works together over an 18-month period and uses a host of supports and resources to accelerate progress on their work, including:

  • Coaching, tactical support and implementation resources;
  • Grants; and,
  • Opportunities to work with and learn from other cities and leading practitioners through facilitated conference calls, webinars and in-person convenings.

City Accelerator builds upon our partnership with the Harvard Kennedy School’s Ash Center and the Project on Municipal Innovation (PMI), a network of 35+ of the nation’s largest and most innovative cities. Cohort cities are drawn from the membership of PMI towards moving this network from dialogue to action.

The Governing Institute provides ongoing coverage of the learnings coming out of the cohort cities and related innovation efforts happening in other places.