About the City Accelerator

As local government resources contract and challenges ranging from economic inequality to infrastructure compound, cities must design new and more effective responses. Cities are increasingly looking for ways to implement promising innovations that will have a significant impact in the lives of their residents, especially those with low incomes. The City Accelerator is an initiative led by Living Cities and supported by the Citi Foundation that helps to accelerate the adoption of such innovations within and across local governments. 

The City Accelerator works with groups of three to five cities each over a 12 to18-month period to advance innovative efforts that improve the lives of low-income people and help cities run more effectively. Cities participating in each group will outline the progress that they intend to make in advancing innovative practice, and then will use a number of program elements to accelerate progress on their work, including: an innovation guidebook that highlights how leading practices can be concretely adapted; periodic convenings to learn from other cities and leading practitioners; and coaching, technical assistance, and implementation resources to advance strategy and overcome barriers.

Participation in the City Accelerator is drawn from cities that participate in the Project on Municipal Innovation (PMI), a network of 35 of the nation’s largest and most innovative cities. PMI – comprised of chiefs of staff from city halls across the country – has enabled municipal leaders to learn about and act on transformative policy ideas. We invite these leaders to apply to the City Accelerator and send staff teams to help translate ideas to action.

The challenges cities face are complex. It takes input from different sectors, departments and residents to develop solutions. As of November 2017, the City Accelerator has brought 17 cities together to pilot new ideas, discard what fails and scale what works. Each group of cities has tackled a particular aspect of city-led innovation, from embedding innovation in city practice, to resident engagement, to infrastructure finance, and now to our latest effort around inclusive procurement. 

Follow their work here on and follow the conversation with #CityAccelerator and share with us how you are driving innovation in your cities.

About Living Cities
Living Cities harnesses the collective power of 18 of the world’s largest foundations and financial institutions to develop and scale new approaches for creating opportunities for low-income people, particularly people of color, and improving the cities where they live. Its investments, applied research, networks, and convenings catalyze fresh thinking and combine support for innovative, local approaches with real-time sharing of learning to accelerate adoption in more places. Additional information can be found at

About the Citi Foundation
The Citi Foundation works to promote economic progress in communities around the world and focuses on initiatives that expand financial inclusion. We collaborate with best-in-class partners to create measurable economic improvements that strengthen low-income families and communities. Through a "More than Philanthropy" approach, Citi's business resources and human capital enhance our philanthropic investments and impact. For more information, visit