Bloomberg Invests $45 Million In Civic Innovation

More than 80 cities will have a chance to tap into the talent and coffers of Michael Bloomberg's philanthrophic organization.

by / August 21, 2014
Michael Bloomberg Flickr/Angela Radulescu

Michael Bloomberg is funding civic innovation to the tune of $45 million.

On Aug. 20, Bloomberg Philanthropies announced a new program that will financially and logistically support innovation in cities across the nation. More than 80 cities were invited to apply for Innovation Delivery grants, which will range from $250,000 to $1 million annually for three years, and come with support teams to assist administrations in adopting the foundation’s Innovation Delivery model.

“Mayors everywhere are focused on innovation – and, increasingly, on the tools and approaches they need to make it the norm rather than the exception in city halls,” Bloomberg said in a press release. “Mayors have produced clear and compelling results with Innovation Delivery Teams over the past few years – and by significantly expanding our support for this proven model, we will be able to help more city officials develop and implement new ideas.”

The Innovation Delivery model uses data-driven, results-oriented approaches to solve urban problems, and was refined over three years of use by city leaders in Atlanta, Chicago, Louisville, Memphis and New Orleans, according to the foundation. Innovation Delivery teams will operate as an in-house consultancy group for the grant awardees.

The foundation cited several examples of the Innovation Delivery model success in the press release, including a 19 percent reduction of the murder rate in New Orleans in 2013, a reduction in retail vacancy rates of 30 percent in the main economic corridors of Memphis, and a 33 percent reduction in licensing time for new restaurants in Chicago.

-- Colin Wood