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An Effort to Gather the Best New Urban Policy Innovations in One Place
Richard Florida / The Atlantic Cities / July 11, 2013
The report “Innovation and the City” [PDF] is an important addition to our knowledge of urban policy innovation. It summarizes the results of a six-month research effort by policy researchers at New York University’s Wagner School of Public Service and the New York-based Center for an Urban Future. The research team interviewed over 200 experts (including our own Emily Badger) and surveyed more than 120 policy innovations. (I should disclose here that I am Global Research Professor for the NYU School of Continuing and Professional Studies).
These responses were vetted by a team of 40 business, policy, philanthropic and non-profit experts and ultimately pared down to 15 policy innovations. Their aim was to identify “rigorous policy experiments” and innovations that are “novel, proven and scalable.” While the effort is oriented to New York City, the policy innovations identified provide broad lessons for cities across America and the world.
As Neil Kleiman, director of the NYU Wagner Innovation labs and one of the lead authors of the report, put it to me in an email:
We sought out the very best urban reform ideas around the world and what’s truly fascinating is that none of them fit into neat categories of housing or education—they are all a mash-ups. The policies pair immigrant assistance with economic development or senior services with zoning and housing policy. What’s plain to see is that innovation must happen across silos, it cannot be confined to traditional policy areas or approaches.