Cities and place-based innovation
Urban leaders and decision-makers are facing a range of urgent challenges. From the shortage of affordable housing to the climate crises to widening spatial and economic inequality, these challenges require new forms of investment, governance, and capabilities to achieve innovations that create public purpose outcomes. This form of urban innovation must bring the public sector together with the private sector and civil society to collaborate and produce inclusive, sustainable and equitable transformation. Achieving these types of outcomes demands strategic design and approaches to direct dynamic change to steer urban innovation towards meeting societal objectives.
IIPP works closely with and advises a number of cities, place-based public sector organisations and leaders across the globe to advance transformative urban initiatives. We do this using cutting edge theoretical and evidence-based insights surrounding mission-oriented policies, innovative urban finance, value creation approaches and experimental institutional designs.
IIPP’s work on urban innovation explores some of the critical barriers that restrict the ability of public sector organisations to facilitate transformational change and helps those actors design solutions for overcoming such challenges. Through our work using mission-oriented innovation and patient finance at the local level, we are helping cities develop new capabilities, redesign institutions, create innovative finance mechanisms and construct collaborative governance frameworks to address strategic grand challenges.
Council on Urban Initiatives
The Council on Urban Initiatives was established in 2021 in response to the UN Secretary General, António Guterres’ call to use the pandemic as an ‘opportunity to reflect and reset how we live in, interact with and rebuild our cities.’ Co-organised by UN-Habitat, the UCL Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose (IIPP) and LSE Cities, the Council is comprised of mayors, academics and practitioners, co-chaired by Ricky Burdett and Mariana Mazzucato. The Council serves as a research and advocacy platform supporting international, national and local actors to deliver transformative shifts towards a better urban future. The Council’s work is centred on three intersectional themes: environmental sustainability (the green city), health and well-being (the healthy city), and social justice (the just city). It draws on the experience of urban and national leaders on the Council - representing Barcelona, Bogotá, Mexico City, New Orleans, Gaziantep, Freetown, Singapore and Paraguay - and unique perspectives on political economy, urban design, and social inclusion in global cities.
- Delivering local change: how collaboration across level of government can unlock action by Ryan Bellinson
- From siloed operations to dynamic ecosystems: how cities are driving missions-oriented innovation by Ryan Bellinson
- A public value approach for renewal: Designing missions in Camden by Ryan Bellinson and Sarah Albala
- Implementing missions: Learning from Greater Manchester by Ryan Bellinson and Robyn Smith
- Missions at a local level: Learning from Greater Manchester and beyond by Daniel and Martha McPherson
- Making mission in Camden by Martha McPherson and Nick Kimber
- Mission-oriented approaches in practice: Greater Manchester’s 2038 Carbon Neutral Challenge by Martha McPherson
- Land financialisation and rays of light amid the gloom by Josh Ryan-Collins
- Op-eds and media highlights
- How the moon landing is now inspiring local problem solving (Bloomberg City Network)
- Cities must lead climate action to keep 1.5C within reach (Smart Cities World)
- Mission-Driven Localities (Project Syndicate)
- Could co-ops be the key to Covid recovery? (Islington Tribune)
- Professor on a (secret?) mission in Camden (Camden New Journal)
- Publication highlights
- The right to housing: A mission-oriented and human rights-based approach (May 2023)
- Shaping Urban Futures (June 2022)
- Mobilising local action to address 21st century challenges (31 March 2022)
- A new data deal: the case of Barcelona (18 February 2022)
- Council on Urban Initiatives Launch Publication (11 January 2022)
- The Biscay Model: Aligning tax policy with the United Nations sustainable development goals (4 October 2021)
- A case study of mission-oriented innovation in Greater Manchester (24 May 2021)
- London Recovery Programme. Overview paper (October 2020)
- A mission-oriented approach to clean growth (6 September 2019)
For more information on our work on cities and place-based innovation, please contact Isadora Spillman-Schappell, Cities Programme Manager.