Bloomberg Philanthropies

City Innovation Teams

Service Type
Client Type
Issue Area
Civic Innovation
Tackling the most urgent urban challenges

How do mayors create the most impactful solutions to their city’s biggest problems—and do so again and again? With more than half the world’s population living in cities, the answer to this question is ever more urgent. However, each day brings city hall a new set of headlines to address and crises to manage. It is difficult to make space to wrestle with the most vexing urban challenges.

Now working in more than 20 cities across four countries, the Bloomberg Philanthropies Innovation Teams program helps cities learn to solve problems in new ways that deliver better results for residents. Bloomberg Philanthropies awards cities multi-year grants to create in-house innovation teams, or “i-teams,” which offer a different set of tools and techniques to effectively tackle critical challenges—from reducing violent crime to revitalizing neighborhoods to strengthening the growth of small businesses.

Supporting i-teams around the world

Since the program’s inception, Bennett Midland has worked alongside Bloomberg Philanthropies as a strategic and operational partner. Our team helped launch the i-teams program in 2011, working to answer critical questions such as the kinds of support cities would need to succeed, how to spread lessons learned across the network, and the best ways to hone the program approach to ensure the delivery of impact that city residents can see, touch, and feel.

For more than six years, Bennett Midland has provided direct support to the i-teams as they understand the drivers of critical problems, engage residents and partners, identify and prototype potential solutions, and deliver and measure results. We offer start-up assistance for new i-teams, as well as strategy and communications support to city grantees throughout their time in the program. We organize trainings and convenings that introduce teams to new approaches and methodologies to advance their work, build connections between cities so they can learn from one another, and create a deep understanding of the progress i-teams are making across the world. At the core of Bennett Midland’s role is our ability to successfully provide tailored, adaptive support while reinforcing a set of core principles that define the program and position teams for success.

United States
  • Albuquerque, NM
  • Anchorage, AK
  • Austin, TX
  • Atlanta, GA
  • Baltimore, MD
  • Boston, MA
  • Centennial, CO
  • Chicago, IL
  • Detroit, MI
  • Durham, NC
  • Jersey City, NJ
  • Long Beach, CA
  • Los Angeles, CA
  • Louisville, KY
  • Memphis, TN
  • Minneapolis, MN
  • Mobile, AL
  • New Orleans, LA
  • Peoria, IL
  • Seattle, WA
  • Syracuse, NY
  • Be’er Sheva, Israel
  • Jerusalem, Israel
  • Tel Aviv, Israel
  • Toronto, Canada
Getting results that matter

Innovation teams deliver results. They are helping mayors generate bigger, bolder ideas—and successfully bringing them to life. For example:

The Syracuse i-team has transformed the city’s ailing infrastructure, reducing water main breaks by 20 percent, filling over 15,000 potholes, more than doubling its speed in resolving requests for repairs from residents, saving over $1.2 million on infrastructure costs, and winning $750,000 more in state infrastructure grants

The Memphis i-team reduced vacancy rates by 82% in targeted commercial corridors and helped launch 15 new small businesses, helping turn abandoned properties into vibrant small business hubs.

The Atlanta i-team helped the City find permanent housing for more than a thousand residents experiencing chronic homelessness.

The Mobile i-team has helped the City more than triple the number of blighted properties it remediates each year, revitalizing neighborhoods and restoring value to homeowners.

Mayors must always be looking for new ways to improve the critical services that people depend on. And our Innovation Teams program helps mayors do that by giving city governments around the world the capacity to make their innovative ideas reality.Former New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg