June 19, 2017, 10:35 a.m.
Launched in 2011, the NYU Wagner Innovation Labs are a series of experiments that marry theory and practice to promote informed, evidence-based policy decision-making in a complex world. Each Lab has its own focus and approach and operates independently, but all reflect NYU Wagner's broad commitment to bringing scholars, thinkers, and practitioners together to improve the way policy is made.
At a time when cities have become clear drivers of government innovation, NYU Wagner Innovation Labs focus many efforts to offer inventive urban policies and a roadmap to mayors and municipal officials about which policy reforms implemented by cities in recent years have been most effective and have the most potential for replication.
ith funding from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, NYU will be developing a first-ever dashboard for essential health data for U.S. cities. Four cities – Flint, Michigan, Kansas City, Kansas, Providence, Rhode Island and Waco, Texas – will work with NYU to pilot the effort.
The Municipal Health Data for American Cities Initiative will frame federal and county data at the municipal level, extract key benchmarks that are embedded in existing city-level data, and create entirely new indicators through big data and social media activity. Health measures will be developed based on input from city leaders, federal data providers, data experts at NYU’s Center for Urban Science and Progress (CUSP), and other experts in urban health metrics. The list of measures will be finalized by this spring and an interactive website will be available this fall.
PROJECT GOAL SUMMARY
The four cities were selected for the pilot project in part because of their participation in the National Resource Network or other parts of the federal SC2 initiative and their commitment to addressing local health challenges. The cities will work together as a peer network and help to inform the process and ensure that the metrics selected for inclusion in the dashboard are useful, innovative and actionable for city leaders.
In 2013, NYU Wagner and the Center for an Urban Future published two reports (see below) profiling the best policy innovations from cities across the U.S. and around the globe, offering a roadmap to mayors and municipal officials about which policy reforms implemented by cities in recent years have been most effective and have the most potential for replication. Coming at a time when cities have become the clear drivers of government innovation, the reports spotlight on recent municipal innovations implemented in cities ranging from Seattle and Chicago to Memphis and Minneapolis.
This was followed by a third report published in November 2016, which highlights the ways in which mayors and city managers are using new approaches to address some of the biggest challenges facing society, whether combating entrenched poverty, financing new infrastructure projects, or protecting the environment. The report profiles 15 of the most innovative urban policies launched by cities over the past decade, highlighting pioneering programs that were launched in cities from Chicago and Seattle to Nairobi and São Paulo.