Governing & Living Cities Announce High-Performing Cities from Second Annual Equipt Survey

Top-ranking cities featured at Governing’s annual Summit on Government Performance and Innovation
April 26, 2018 AT 11:00 AM
Race-Informed Resident-Involved Broadly Partnered Data-Driven Dynamically Planned Employee-Engaged Smartly Resourced

Sacramento, Calif. – April 26, 2018 – Governing today announced the top-ranking cities from the second annual national Equipt to Innovate survey, which show a growing number of cities are becoming better prepared to respond to civic challenges in nimble and robust ways.

Equipt to Innovate is a joint initiative launched by Living Cities and Governing magazine. It is an integrated, collaborative framework anchored in seven key characteristics of high-performance government — being dynamically planned, broadly partnered, resident-involved, race-informed, smartly resourced, employee-engaged and data-driven.

Equipt sets a purposefully high bar across all seven elements, and the second annual survey shows a growing number of cities are reaching for it. Seventy-four cities participated in the 2018 survey, up 23 percent from 2017, bringing the two-year total to 97 cities. Equipt cities represent 53 million residents, including 55 of the 100 largest U.S. cities and all 10 of the largest U.S. cities.

“Residents and businesses expect cities to provide nimble and robust responses to today’s challenges and opportunities,” says Mark Funkhouser, publisher of Governing. “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.”

Based on the results of the second annual survey and analysis, Fayetteville, N.C., was named the top-performing city overall.

Top-ranking cities were also identified in each of the core elements:

  • Dynamically Planned – Las Vegas, NV
  • Broadly Partnered – Olathe, KS
  • Resident-Involved – Seattle, WA
  • Race-Informed – Louisville, KY
  • Smartly Resourced – San Antonio, TX
  • Employee-Engaged – Fayetteville, NC
  • Data-Driven – San Diego, CA

"It's encouraging to see city governments doing the hard work to build Equipt capabilities, particularly in areas as complex as racial equity, resident engagement and evidence-based policymaking,” says Steven Bosacker, principal of public sector and partnerships at Living Cities. “The cities we're recognizing this year are showing the way to the future."

The high-performing cities will be formally recognized May 1 at the 2018 Summit on Government Performance & Innovation, an annual gathering of 650 innovators, public sector change-agents, disrupters and civic entrepreneurs from around the country interested in making government work better for local communities.

For a comprehensive overview of the survey findings and a discussion of how cities fared across the categories, download the report “Profiles in High-Performance Government: Cities on the Move” at