Cities Make Progress, Face Continuing Challenges in Governing Well: Survey

A growing number of cities are performing well in the essentials of fiscal responsibility, racial equity, resident engagement and evidence-based policymaking.
April 26, 2018
Race-Informed Resident-Involved Broadly Partnered Data-Driven Dynamically Planned Employee-Engaged Smartly Resourced

The Equipt to Innovate survey, conducted annually by the nonprofit Living Cities and Governing, evaluates how cities are orchestrating the complexities of governing across seven core elements of high-performance government. 

Of the 74 cities that participated in this year’s survey, the top performers in each Equipt category for 2018 are:

  • Dynamically Planned – Las Vegas
  • Broadly Partnered – Olathe, Kan.
  • Resident-Involved – Seattle
  • Race-Informed – Louisville, Ky.
  • Smartly Resourced – San Antonio
  • Employee-Engaged – Fayetteville, N.C.
  • Data-Driven – San Diego  

The 2017 survey findings – detailed through the Equipt report, a series of 74 city-specific briefs and a national event on high-performance government – help policymakers, stakeholders, practitioners and the media better understand the link between government management and performance. The Equipt program highlights cities’ successful approaches, key lessons and promising innovations through the distribution of proven practices.

“Residents and businesses expect cities to provide nimble and robust responses to today’s challenges and opportunities,” says Mark Funkhouser, publisher of Governing in a press release accompanying the release of the survey results. “The results of the second annual Equipt to Innovate survey show that a critical mass of American cities – along with their diverse networks of public, private and civic institutions -- are investing in and building the many things that make communities good places to live.”

A joint initiative of Living Cities and Governing, Equipt provides a framework for understanding what matters in addressing today’s most pressing challenges and an update on cities’ progress toward high-performance government.

The findings are detailed in the report, “Profiles in High-Performance Government: Cities on the move,” which is available for download here.

Download the Full Report