Smarter NYC Case Studies

How City Agencies Innovate

The “Smart(er) NYCitywide Research Group” was created by André Corrêa d’Almeida with scholars from 13 universities and research institutes, with the goal of developing case studies aiming at examining how innovation from within the New York City government is making urban systems smarter and shaping people’s lives. The focus is on how city agencies have been adapting to and adopting new data and technology innovations to make their management systems more inclusive and responsive to decision making and citizens, their success, failures and replicability. These case studies will be published by Columbia University Press in the spring of 2018. In addition to this single-city project with New York City (U.S.) the initiative also includes a cities-cluster project with Lisbon and Cascais (Portugal). This “Smart(er) City” initiative is also being expanded to the UK, China and Latin America.

General Objective and Research Questions

The School of International and Public Affairs’ (SIPA) Master of Public Administration in Development Practice (MPA – DP) Program of Columbia University (CU) is partnering with The City of New York in an effort, led by Professor André Corrêa d’Almeida, to map the ecology of innovation in NYC. More specifically, the case studies will be based on smart city initiatives identified across city agencies. The project’s unifying objectives are to:
  • Describe the process of how specific smart city innovations were initiated, developed and implemented within NYC agencies;
  • Reveal key roles, interactions, decisions, challenges and best practices that contributed to successful innovation and solutions;
  • Uncover behavioral aspects capable of hindering creativity and innovation across city agencies;
  • Identify institutional elements, incentives and contextual variables that fostered innovation;
  • Highlight organizational attributes that supported innovation;
  • Discuss how NYC’s programs compare to a sample of similar programs around the world;
  • Describe outcomes and discuss the assessment and impact of the initiatives;
  • Recommend next-generation enhancements to these programs; discuss how NYC’s innovation policies can facilitate growth of these programs; discuss the “way forward” for optimizing benefits for NYC;
  • Showcase NYC as an incubator and test-bed for innovative smart city initiatives and help reimagine bottom-up possibilities that emerge from within public administration.

NYC Case Studies

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