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21 May 2018Semtech and Comcast’s machineQ Partner with City Innovate

Semtech Corp. has partnered with Comcast Corp.’s Internet of Things network service to co-sponsor a program for city government agencies to develop and deploy smart city products and services.

The Startup in Residence program from City Innovate, in San Francisco, connects startups with city government agencies to come up with technology to address such issues as reducing parking congestion, monitoring waste management and controlling street lights remotely.  Read the full article…



03 Apr 2018Welcoming Jay Nath!

We are excited to announce that Jay Nath has joined City Innovate as our new Co-Executive Director. Prior to City Innovate, Jay was the Chief Innovation Officer for the City of San Francisco and was a key architect of its Startup in Residence (STIR).  Jay’s come on board to drive the expansion of the STIR program, now in its fourth cohort working across 19 challenges in 9 cities


25 May 2017City Innovate and Miami Dade County announces Urban Mobility Playbook to transform public transit

May 25, 2017, San Francisco – At its third annual BRIDGE summit, “Urban Mobility, Connected Cities, and Resiliency,” City Innovate Foundation unveiled the first-of-its-kind Playbook on Urban Mobility, a comprehensive look at how to integrate public transit and private transportation services for true multi-modal mobility in cities.

City Innovate also announced that Miami-Dade County will be the first metropolitan city to implement insights from its Urban Mobility Collider Project focused on how urban residents can better navigate their cities. The Collider is an intense 12-week planning and policy workshop that brings together city planners, scholars and private industries to focus on resolving policy issues around one specific urban challenge, and to outline solutions and emerging technologies that could be part of the solution.

“People need better ways to commute and move around in today’s cities,” said Carlos Cruz-Casas, Assistant Director, Department of Transportation and Public Works from Miami-Dade County. “New technologies are emerging which can vastly improve access to transportation services in cities. We can’t keep our transit mindset on a 20th century model. It is a fundamental issue of equity.”

This partnership with the Miami-Dade Department of Transportation and Public Works will allow City Innovate and its private and public sector partners to apply learnings from the collaborative research carried out as part of the Collider workshop. The goals set forth from Miami-Dade County include reducing road congestion, digitally connecting all transportation services in the county, and creating a seamless transit experience for citizens. By navigating these issues in Miami-Dade, City Innovate hopes to bring benefits for the citizens of the metropolitan region, and use the playbook to scale best practices to other cities.

“Integration is a necessity for the future of mobility, extending to every aspect of the transportation infrastructure,” said Boris Karsch, vice president of strategy, Cubic Transportation Systems. “From using one account to pay for journeys with multiple transit agencies to collecting valuable data in one database to effectively gaining insights through data. The mobility industry will be at its most efficient when we break-down traditional silos to create a unified and frictionless user  experience that is built upon unified solutions.”

Across the U.S., urban transit systems and road networks in major cities are unable to keep up with demand as populations grow. As a consequence, both long-time and new residents are struggling with increasing congestion and the growing challenges to getting where they need to go. As traditional transportation systems struggle to keep up with the influx of people migrating to cities, alternative methods such as biking, carpooling and ridesharing are becoming more popular. City Innovate Foundation believes there is potential for cities to incorporate these new modes with existing public transportation services, to build a network of accessible, affordable, and sustainable options for citizens.

How can cities navigate this new arena of viable transit options? City Innovate believes data is the key.

“The solution lies in upgrading the existing infrastructure systems to harness data, and enabling city agencies to work with data to make better planning and policy decisions,” said Kamran Saddique, Executive Director of CIF. “We and our partners believe that by creating an integrated platform, we can foster a more user-friendly experience to reduce wait times, save millions of dollars in administrative costs, and encourage better mobility for citizens to get from A to B.”

“Transportation is a pillar of city infrastructure, yet it consistently creates challenges for communities,” said Scott Mauvais, Director of Technology & Civic Innovation for Microsoft. “At Microsoft, we believe that public-private partnerships can help tackle these issues, creating solutions that improve people’s daily commutes while saving cities money. We are honored to work alongside City Innovate Foundation as it assists cities in their digital transformations of transportation systems across the U.S.”

Miami-Dade County as a building block to layer more services on top of this new architecture, most notably with Autonomous Vehicles.

“We started by partnering with City Innovate Foundation for the Playbook on Urban Mobility. The success has led Siemens to start future work on Vehicle-to-Infrastructure, or V2I concepts,” said Marcus Welz, CEO of Siemens Intelligent Traffic Systems, North America. Both these topics allow us the opportunity to share our knowledge around sustainable transportation and advanced transportation technologies, providing cities and public agencies an even better understanding of how this technology will influence the future of mobility.”

The BRIDGE Summit is an annual gathering of public, private, non-profit, and academic institutions coming together to challenge assumptions, develop skills, share best practices, and build partnerships that drive innovation for a better tomorrow. If you’re interested in learning more, or would like to partner with City Innovate in its efforts, please contact for more information


19 Jan 2017Announcing the Network of Cities


Cities announce the “Network of Cities: Scaling City Innovate Foundation’s Urban Transportation Initiative” at Superpublic

City Innovate Foundation, Superpublic and its cross-sector partners announce network of cities for scaling its inaugural Mobility Solutions.

WASHINGTON D.C, January 19, 2017— During the 2017 U.S. Conference of Mayors, City Innovate Foundation (CIF) announced the collection of cities who will participate in the upcoming phase of their program to enhance public transit. The participating cities include San Francisco, Oakland, Chattanooga, Miami-Dade County and Los Angeles. The program starts in early March and will be hosted in Miami and San Francisco.

network of cities

Following Miami-Dade’s $33 million investment to improve and upgrade their ticketing and payments systems, the county implemented CIF’s Test & Learn Collider methodology. The Test & Learn Collider allows participants to shape policy by framing problems, identifying use cases, exploring private sector solutions and using empirical data. Corporate partners including Cubic, Lyft, Mastercard, Microsoft, Siemens and Zipcar contributed to the project to integrate new technologies like smartphone-based ride-hailing services.

City Innovate Foundation helped launched an innovation lab called Superpublic at UN Plaza in San Francisco in 2016 and the goal was to replicate the work in this lab to other cities. “After this first-of-its-kind project with Miami-Dade County we are now scaling our work across many cities in the US and we are excited to share best practices within the network of cities we announced today” said Kamran Saddique, Executive Director of City Innovate Foundation.

”Siemens is proud to bring its extensive advanced transportation and connected mobility expertise to this partnership and the playbook that will help bring innovative transportation systems to life,” said Marcus Welz, CEO of Siemens Intelligent Traffic Systems in North America. “We’ve seen first-hand how making roads and vehicles smarter can reduce congestion, improve safety, lower emissions, and even cut costs and we’re thrilled that this partnership will help more cities do just that.”

Mobility in Miami-Dade County is a top priority for our Department of Transportation and Public Works,” said Alice N. Bravo, Director. “Working with City Innovate and utilizing the information gathered in their Collider program will lead to improved mobility countywide. Sharing and collecting best practices from other participating cities will allow our Department to potentially implement unique and creative solutions to enhance the quality of life for our nearly 2.7 million residents.

“Traffic congestion plagues cities across the US, underscoring the increasingly urgent need for available and inexpensive public transit,” says Director of Civic Technology, Scott Mauvais, Microsoft. “The Collider convenes city leaders, community activists, technologists and transportation experts to tackle this multi-faceted challenge. Microsoft is happy to participate in this forum and share our ideas, technology and support.“

The full text of the announcement can be downloaded here.



15 Aug 2016Bay Area Startup in Residence Program: A Potential Pipeline for Regional Innovation?

With the second iteration of the Startup in Residence Program, four Northern California cities are gaining valuable tools and resources for citizens while chosen startups are earning persuasive use cases to help them scale into the gov tech market.

To harvest startup talent, cities don’t have to be tech Meccas — but a partnership with one certainly helps.

On Sept. 16, the California cities of Oakland, San Leandro and West Sacramento will join San Francisco in showcasing the new digital tools and services that materialized during the first regional Startup in Residence program (STiR) that brought in 14 tech startups for 16 weeks.

The startups unleashed their diverse skill sets on a host of civic maladies, devising solutions for foster care, law enforcement, city finances and preschool, to name a few, and coordinating with appropriate city departments and the San Francisco Mayor’s Office of Civic Innovation.

If results are like San Francisco’s in-house pilot in 2014, the cities are apt to gain valuable tools and resources for citizens, while the startups — eager to expand their commercial footprints — will earn persuasive use cases and government supporters to scale into the gov tech market.


STiR builds on this influence by serving as a mechanism for regional gov tech research and development. Only last July, at the opening of the city’s innovation lab SuperPublic — an endeavor supported by the General Services Administration — did San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee elaborate on the strategy to advance civic efforts through local, regional, state and even federal collaboration.

While it seems voluntary and innovative to do it now, we’re actually creating the conditions for the private sector, for the public sector, for academia, for those that are in government that want to innovate.

Lee said at the SuperPublic launch event. “We’re trying to create the conditions now so there is a lot more opportunity in the future to be successful.”


15 Jul 2016San Francisco Opens Superpublic Innovation Lab

Federal technologists, change makers and academics joined the city in a ribbon cutting ceremony on July 14 for SUPERPUBLIC, San Francisco’s new innovation lab. The venture is a first for the city as its work commands support and talent from regional, state and federal organizations in addition to academic and private-sector contributions.


11 May 2016GSA Partners With San Francisco on Superpublic Innovation Lab

The General Services Administration will be partnering with the City Innovate Foundation, San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee, and the U.S. Department of Commerce to create a 5,000-square-foot lab to foster technological collaboration between public and private entities.

Called the Superpublic innovation lab, the project announced Tuesday is designed to improve technological capabilities for city and state programs.

“New technologies, the Internet, and the digital economy are sources of job creation, enablers of global trade and commerce, and key elements of America’s competitiveness,” said U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker. “Superpublic creates a forum to bring together leaders in the public, private, nonprofit, and academic sectors to create digital solutions that address our cities’ most pressing issues and develop stronger partnerships in the process.”


09 May 2016Superpublic lab in SF to focus on urban problems

Nimble, creative, collaborative, tech-savvy: Few people use those adjectives to describe government. But a new “innovation lab” called Superpublic coming to San Francisco next month aims to upend the stereotypes of stodgy bureaucracy with a workspace where policymakers, academics, entrepreneurs, industry experts, nonprofit leaders and others can jointly tackle urban problems and devise futuristic solutions.


05 Feb 2016Software eats manufacturing (and manufacturing gains)

States and metropolitan areas need to focus. Ultimately, many in the group agreed that states and localities have key roles to play if U.S. metropolitan areas are going to monetize the digitization of manufacturing. With federal processes gridlocked, multiple workshop attendees agreed with City Innovate Foundation Board Chairman Peter Hirshberg that linking software and hardware and start-up and industry communities is “a distributed problem” that will be worked out city by city, ecosystem by ecosystem. In that vein, multiple attendees agreed that that states and localities are the natural leaders of bottom up initiatives to develop much better training and apprenticeship initiatives that leverage true public/private partnerships, as opposed to public systems that simply solicit input. Others stressed the need for regional maker communities and industry networks to link up more. And others stressed the need to shape urban innovation districts such as the emerging Warm Springs area in Fremont to foment collaboration.


04 Feb 2016On the next City Visions: San Francisco artists respond to SOMA

City Visions host Joseph Pace examines the “Work in Progress: Investigations South of Market” exhibit at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts.

Eight local artists delve in to the layered history of San Francisco’s South of Market neighborhood. Created on site, the works demonstrate process as well as final product.

Join the Yerba Buena CEO and the exhibition’s artists as they discuss urban planning, environmental impact, and change in this historic neighborhood.

Includes interview with Deborah Cullinan, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, CEO:

Deborah’s passion for connecting art and civic impact has made her a sought after speaker and contributor to both U.S. and international organizations, including the New Cities Foundation, Americans for the Arts, the City Innovate Foundation, the University of Chicago Arts Incubator, and the National Endowment for the Arts.