About Public Engagement City Accelerator

City Accelerator: Cohort II is an initiative of Living Cities and the Citi Foundation that explores best practices for engaging lower income residents and effective city government structures.

As local government resources are contracting and challenges ranging from economic inequality to infrastructure are compounding, 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.

Funded by Living Cities and the Citi Foundation, the Engagement Lab is leading Cohort II of the Accelerator program. This 18-month program will focus on civic methods to incorporate public participation into government processes in a way that’s meaningful and impactful. Cities included in City Accelerator initiative include:

  • Albuquerque
  • Atlanta
  • Baltimore
  • New Orleans
  • Seattle

Check back in December 2016 to access the implementation guide and public engagement toolkit. Learn more about the public engagement board game, Chart the Course here.

The City Accelerator Program

The City Accelerator works with cities over an 18-month period to advance innovative efforts that improve the lives of low-income people and help cities run more effectively. Cities participating in each cohort will outline the progress that they intend to make in advancing innovative practice over the duration of the cohort, 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.

Living Cities

Founded in 1991, Living Cities harnesses the collective power of 22 of the world’s largest foundations and financial institutions to build a new type of urban practice that gets dramatically better results for low-income people, faster.

  • Panel discussion at the Baltimore Convening
  • Accelerator! game, beta version
  • Playtesting Accelerator! at the Baltimore Convening
  • Project planning at the Baltimore Convening
  • Mayor's Office of New Urban Mechanics playtesting the Accelerator! game
  • New Orleans site visit
  • Mayor's Office of New Urban Mechanics playtesting the Accelerator! game
  • Game tests at the Baltimore Convening
  • Site visit in Baltimore
  • Site visit in New Orleans

Public Engagement City Accelerator News

The City Accelerator

The City Accelerator

A collection of pitch videos for different cities participating in the City Accelerator

Pokemon Go! and the Problem With Data

Pokemon Go! and the Problem With Data

On the virtual layer of data driving Pokemon Go! and our public spaces.

The Iron Cage and the Ivory Tower

The Iron Cage and the Ivory Tower

Rethinking university-government partnerships

Tearing Down the 'Town and Gown' Divide by: Ron Littlefield, Governing

Tearing Down the 'Town and Gown' Divide by: Ron Littlefield, Governing

On bridging the gap between municipalities and the colleges and universities within their borders

What We Should Mean When We Talk About Citizen Engagement

What We Should Mean When We Talk About Citizen Engagement

How can our institutions create conditions to "care for" civics with long-term relationship building...

Civic Technology and the Pursuit of Happiness

Civic Technology and the Pursuit of Happiness

On the difference between a rights bearing, self-actualizing citizen and a happy customer.

Changing a Culture One Meeting at a Time

Changing a Culture One Meeting at a Time

Seattle's Department of Neighborhoods reimagines the backend to public engagement

Change in Local Government: Moving Beyond Good Intentions

Change in Local Government: Moving Beyond Good Intentions

On pushing the public sector to move beyond "good intentions" and access the services and assistance...

A Philanthropic Nudge for Civic Innovation

A Philanthropic Nudge for Civic Innovation

Reflections from City Accelerator participants

Beyond Shovelware: Finding the Right Tools for Engagement

Beyond Shovelware: Finding the Right Tools for Engagement

How to engage participants without just shoving content into an online platform

Improving Public Engagement: 5 Cities Get to Work

Improving Public Engagement: 5 Cities Get to Work

Increasingly, city governments are being called upon to “do engagement.” Typically this means commun...

Crisis Meets Opportunity in Baltimore by: Ron Littlefield, Governing

Crisis Meets Opportunity in Baltimore by: Ron Littlefield, Governing

On Baltimore's history of innovation and resourcefulness in the face of intractable difficulties.

Gordon leads City Accelerator Initiative

Gordon leads City Accelerator Initiative

Eric Gordon will be working with five cities as part of an 18-month initiative to promote innovative...

From Civic Engagement to Meaningful Engagement

From Civic Engagement to Meaningful Engagement

Eric Gordon will be leading Cohort 2 for Living Cities and plans to employ new tools to bring people...

Civic Engagement Expected to Shine in Round 2 of City Accelerator

Civic Engagement Expected to Shine in Round 2 of City Accelerator

Eric Gordon of the Engagement Lab is selected to lead the next chapter of the City Accelerator in th...