15 Innovative Policies Any City Would be Wise to Steal

A new report prepared to inspire NYC's next mayor examines 15 'game-changing reforms' that have been implemented in cities around the world, and could be adapted to help solve New York's most pressing challenges.

"Over the last six months, researchers at the Center for an Urban Future and NYU Wagner interviewed nearly 200 policy experts in cities across the country and around the globe, looking for game-changing reforms that have proven effective in other cities, that are scalable in New York and that the next mayor could implement. This report, “Innovation and the City [PDF],” presents 15 of the most promising reforms—from San Francisco’s bold plan to establish a $50 college savings account for every kindergartener in public school, to Boston’s pioneering approach to remaking the 311 system for today’s smartphone age and London’s ambitious experiment with crowdfunding for public infrastructure projects."

"This effort—which we have referred to as the Mayoral Policy Lab—aims to invigorate the cycle of innovation and experimentation," say authors Neil Kleiman, Adam Forman, Jae Ko, David Giles and Jonathan Bowles. "Providing a new twist on the election cycle debate, we offer the New York City mayoral candidates a menu of practical policy ideas drawn from the most inspired policies in the most vibrant cities around the country and the world. If cities are our 'laboratories of innovation,' our research provides rigorous policy 'experiments,' offering novel, proven and scalable reforms that can improve, and possibly transform, the city."

"But New York is not the only city that can benefit from this inventory of innovation," they add. "Los Angeles and Minneapolis will be electing new mayors, and municipal leaders everywhere are facing significant challenges. We hope these ideas will inspire innovation throughout the country, in 2014 and beyond."



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