City governments all over the world are facing global challenges of extraordinary magnitude in a number of areas including climate change and renewable energy production; education; healthcare; the sense of the commons and individual identity; immigration and population flows; economic development, etc.
Cities take the lead and do the things that nations can’t do. The city is the context where the symptoms of these large-scale challenges first emerge, even if their root causes may not be as easily or clearly identifiable. The standard channels for policy development and delivery at the local government level have often gravitated toward resolving the immediate rather than exploring new opportunities for a meaningful future.
Cities, big and small, struggle to do more with less, as dwindling resources have to meet ever more complex challenges. This situation has precipitated the rise of innovation units within local City Governments all over the world. In the United States, this trend has slowly gained traction in recent years. The word innovation is becoming mainstream in the context of local government, as policy makers realize the value of creative thinking and design as footholds toward an urban future that is impossible to predict. Enrique Martinez