Editor’s Note: The work of the City Accelerator is being evaluated on an ongoing basis by a firm called Equal Measure, which is under contract to monitor the performance of Living Cities in running the program, including how well it supports the participating cities in doing the work in the field. Equal Measure has prepared “The Q List,” a report that summarizes top lessons and findings from our projects.
In fall 2014, Living Cities launched the City Accelerator, a three-year, $3 million program designed to foster innovation among city governments to address the pressing challenges facing low-income residents. The City Accelerator began work with with three initial cohorts of cities, with each cohort running for 18 months to advance innovative efforts that improve the lives of low-income people. The first cohort launched in September 2014 - with Louisville, KY; Nashville, TN; and Philadelphia, PA. This inaugural cohort was focused on municipal innovation. Recognizing local assets, gaps in services and infrastructure, and culture, these cities are shifting how municipal government leverages partnerships and engages local residents in creating solutions to some of the most pressing challenges in their communities.
In particular, cities are working with cross-sections of municipal government to develop pilot projects that make a difference for residents. Additionally, they are providing more opportunities and venues for community organizations and low-income residents to have a say in identifying new approaches to solving community issues. Despite these broader community engagements, local philanthropy, for the most part, is not yet involved in City Accelerator efforts.
Read the full Q List here.