Kalamazoo Selected to Join International City Innovation Training

Published on May 10, 2022

Bloomberg Center for Public Innovation program to support innovation in 13 city halls in five countries across the globe

Kalamazoo has been selected as one of 13 international cities participating in the Bloomberg Center for Public Innovation at Johns Hopkins University’s 2022 Innovation Training program, which will provide consulting, training, and networking to address a key issue facing its residents. 

The training, delivered in partnership with the Centre for Public Impact, is entering its fourth year of programming and has helped bring to life solutions like an on-demand bus system in Sioux Falls, South Dakota and a Renter’s Bill of Rights in Albany, NY. 

 “We are honored to be one of 13 cities participating in the 2022 Innovation Training program,” said Mayor David Anderson. “I look forward to seeing the creative ideas and strategies that our team creates through this program, and how this process can be applied to the challenges that our community faces moving forward.”

The free, year-long program will aid a team of City of Kalamazoo staff members at work in addressing a community priority through: 

  • Innovation Curriculum Instruction: The city will enroll in a state-of-the-art innovation curriculum that teaches the public innovation approach through case studies, lectures, and hands-on experience and sharing.
  • Dedicated Design Coaching: A core team of up to 12 city employees will work with a coach to apply the innovation approach to their chosen problem. 
  • Relationship Building: City staff will connect with a deep network of support made up of cities with successful innovation programs across the globe. 

“From combating COVID-19 to increasing affordable housing, we know that innovation methods make an enormous difference in the ability of mayors, city leaders, and staff to better serve residents,” said Amanda Dalfos, Executive Director of the Bloomberg Center for Public Innovation at Johns Hopkins University.

“We are so excited to launch this next round of Innovation Training in key, diverse cities and at a time when there’s a clear opportunity to develop and share solutions to help others across the globe.”

Through this program Kalamazoo will be focused on creating a proactive, equity-minded sidewalk snow management strategy. The 330 miles of sidewalk throughout the city combined with several months of snow each year create a significant need for snow clearing in the winter months. This need is especially great near vacant properties and for seniors and residents with mobility challenges who cannot physically clear their sidewalk.

The Imagine Kalamazoo 2025 Master Plan recognizes that sidewalks play an essential role in creating ‘Complete Neighborhoods’ with safe, walkable streets that allow residents to meet their daily needs.

Through the 2022 Innovation Training program, the City of Kalamazoo has an opportunity to explore initiatives to create clear and passable sidewalks year-round. A diverse core team of 12 city staff from various departments will work together to research initiatives and create an implementation plan with measures for success.

About the Bloomberg Center for Public Innovation at Johns Hopkins University 

The Bloomberg Center for Public Innovation at Johns Hopkins University works to advance public sector innovation across the globe by marrying cutting-edge practice with world-class research to transform the culture of government, deliver exceptional results for residents, and inspire trust in public service. Established in 2021 with a $43 million contribution from Bloomberg Philanthropies, the Center serves as the permanent home for several flagship programs, including Innovation Teams and Cities of Service, in addition to creating new programming. The Center is a source for state-of-the-art resources, coaching, and research that helps city leaders and their staff meet the growing needs of residents and improve the culture of government through innovation. Learn more at publicinnvation.jhu.edu and by following us at @PublicInno on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook.                

Tagged as: