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Posted on: September 30, 2021

City of Springfield chosen by NYU data lab to participate in incubator for municipal data projects

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

The City of Springfield is one of 10 cities selected by New York University’s GovLab to participate in a six-month program supporting local government technology officials in developing data-driven projects for their cities. 

Other participating cities are:

  • New York City
  • Winnipeg, Canada
  • Beer Shiva, Israel
  • Albuquerque, New Mexico
  • Syracuse, New York
  • Timisoara, Romania
  • Changunarayan Municipality, Nepal
  • Medoza City, Argentina
  • Guauaquil, Ecuador.

The program, called “City Incubator,” operates within the Open Data Policy Lab, a research center within the NYU Tandon School of Engineering, and Microsoft. City officials are given access to a “mentor council” of technologists, private-sector executives and engineers such as California Chief Data Officer Joy Bonaguro and U.S. Department of Commerce technology adviser Natalie Harris Evans to build out data projects, much like a startup incubator would allow a founder to launch a company from the ground up. The cities are also encouraged to mentor each other through the course of the program. 

“It’s helping to foster a new skill set and bring a lot of the tactics, practices and ethos taught to entrepreneurs through accelerator and incubator programs and helping to foster and cultivate those in public sector intrapreneurs,” said Adrienne Schmoeker, a senior fellow with GovLab. Schmoeker, a former deputy chief analytics officer for New York City. “Data has become this new form of invisible infrastructure that enables cities to function. I have to say, as someone who managed a few data initiatives for a city government, data isn’t always treated as infrastructure.”

Springfield’s project consists of developing key performance indicators and open data sets across City departments. Development Project Facilitator Danny Perches is representing the City of Springfield in the project and says his goals include finalizing the KPIs and developing a plan to implement them. 

“The City of Springfield is in the process of implementing key performance indicators in a number of City departments to improve performance, accountability and transparency. The goal is to create a dynamic and interactive dashboard or data center on the City’s website. Beyond displaying numbers, it needs to tell a story of performance, transparency and dedication to all citizens,” Perches said.  “We absolutely want to make the most out of our participation in this free program and how it can help us deliver this information to our citizens in the best way possible.”

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For more information, please contact Melissa Haase, assistant director of Public Information and Civic Engagement, at 417-864-1003 or 417-536-7648 or [email protected]

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