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Office of the City Manager

200 E. Santa Clara St.
San Jose, CA 95113

Phone: (408) 535-8100
Fax: (408) 920-7007

Office of Civic Innovation
On March 29, 2016, City Council unanimously approved a plan to transform San José into the most innovative city in America by 2020.

The Smart City Vision creates a framework for innovation that aligns the City organization around:

  • core values that support the City’s innovation imperative;
  • prioritized, high impact, and community-oriented work, and;
  • a focused execution strategy that builds capacity by leveraging new tools, approaches and skillsets.

The Smart City Vision articulates broad outcomes spanning five domains—to make San Jose as safe, inclusive, user-friendly, and sustainable as possible, and demonstrate the possibilities of technology and innovation along the way.

To drive implementation of this vision, the City created the Office of Civic Innovation & Digital Strategy (Innovation Team) within the Office of the City Manager in August 2016. Read the news release about the Office of Civic Innovation.

 The Office of Civic Innovation oversees and coordinates a wide range of projects, programs, and opportunities related to the  that aim at making the city more efficient and effective, such as public safety, demonstration projects, data analytics, sustainability, and public-private collaborations.

The Innovation Roadmap

In its first 100 days the Innovation Team worked with the Civic Innovation Cabinet of department directors to establish the first ever Innovation Roadmap, which is comprised of 21 priority projects that focus the City’s innovation work, including;
  • high impact implementation at scale (7),
  • strategy/demonstration/pilot projects (13), and
  • capacity building

This first iteration of the Innovation Roadmap is focused on a limited set of projects that are important, core, and achievable.

  • Important - Is the problem causing a lot of our residents or businesses pain or annoyance?
  • Core- Is the problem something our City can and should solve?
  • Achievable – Is the problem solvable at scale using technology or process improvement?

Innovation Principles

As important as ‘what’ projects we chose are the principles that guide ‘how’ we do our work.

  • Champion the Customer - Relentlessly focus on the customer experience by integrating human-centric principles into service delivery and technology platform design;
  • Learn through Data – Measure performance with real-time data to continuously improve our services; and,
  • Iterate to Improve - Prototype new initiatives, and rapidly iterate, reflect, and learn from failure or success before scaling.

We believe that innovation is Powered by our People and our approach seeks to amplify the expertise of the City’s own workforce by cultivating the best ideas and actions of our people. We are committed to harnessing the power of Silicon Valley by partnering with residents, private sector, universities, foundations, and other organizations to accelerate impact.

All our service improvements and innovations must be both secure and accessible. Secure to protect individual privacy and provide secure IT platforms. Accessible and empowering favoring accessible technology solutions, helping to level the playing field for underserved populations, and providing tools to take action.