Media Highlights

Most Innovative Cities: Creative Solutions to Today’s Most Pressing Urban Problems

by CNN Money   •  

As budgets are tight and Washington is gridlocked, it increasingly falls to local communities to address today’s most pressing issues. With “Most Innovative Cities,” CNNMoney set out to highlight creative solutions to urban problems that improve the quality of life and economic opportunities for the people who live there. We wanted to consider everything from transportation and technology to education and jobs. In two rounds of voting, we asked experts what cities they thought were the most innovative and why.

To identify the 10 most innovative cities, we asked 100 experts in urban planning to name the 5 most innovative cities (with populations above 150,000) and tell us why they were innovative.

We asked for cities that were innovating in the following areas:

  • Transportation & Infrastructure
  • Education & Healthcare
  • Job Creation & Economic Development
  • Housing & Land Use
  • Sustainability & Resiliency
  • Civic Functions & Use of Technology

35 experts responded, providing a total of 58 cities for consideration. Based on the initial votes, we narrowed the list down to 25 candidate cities – all of which received 2 or more votes in the first round. We sent this list to 10 general urban experts (who had been included in the first round), asking them to rank their top 5. 9 experts responded with their rankings. We used a statistical weighting method to weigh their responses – and included results from the first survey as a 10th “ballot.”


Experts from the following organizations contributed to our survey to determine the most innovative cities in the U.S.

Abt Associates
American Institute of Architects
Black & Veatch
Brophy & Reilly LLC
Building America’s Future
Council on Competitiveness
Emory Law School
Furman Center for Real Estate and Urban Policy
Information Technology and Innovation Foundation
Institute for Sustainable Communities
Knight Foundation
Living Cities
Mayors Innovation Project
Measure of America
Opportunity Nation
Pew Charitable Trusts
Project for Public Spaces
re:focus partners
SHoP Architects
Smart Cities Council
Smart Growth America
Surdna Foundation
The Kresge Foundation
The Trust for Public Land
The Urban Institute
Urban Land Institute
US Dept. of Commerce
Wholesome Wave

Read more on CNN Money.

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