Innovation Field Lab - New York

Innovation Field Lab - New York is a two-year program comprising data-driven experimentation, real time innovation and improvement and executive education for ten cities in New York State who aim to develop capabilities for cross-silo performance leadership in the fight against blight and distressed properties. The program provides cities with an opportunity to pilot creative and forward-thinking local initiatives with support from a technical assistance team consisting of the Ash Center, Hester Street Collaborative, and Tolemi.

This program, Innovation Field Lab New York, builds on successful pilots from Massachusetts with medium-sized cities that are working to innovate their approach to tackling at-risk and problem properties. The guiding concepts are to make city government:

  • More collaboration across silos, sectoral boundaries, and diverse perspectives,
  • More data-driven using the Building Blocks platform for risk management, strategic prioritization, and performance measurement, and
  • More results-oriented by creating a learning organization focused on continuous improvement of performance.

The program seeks to work with Mayors and their senior staff using cutting-edge thinking from Harvard Kennedy School, and provide them with the ideas, skills, tools, and techniques to tackle the challenges associated with problem properties they face in their cities and develop a bold innovation strategy to increase safe, healthy and secure housing in their communities. All cities and program partners are committed to reducing and preventing problem properties to enhance neighborhood vitality in the most effective, efficient and equitable ways possible.

Innovation Field Lab New York provides an opportunity for the Ash Center to learn from emerging practices, benchmark progress that cities are making, and identify obstacles as well as success factors for innovation and improvement.