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Syracuse launches “innovation team” to tackle urban challenges

Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner has hired a director of policy and innovation. (Michael J. Okoniewski-City of Syracuse)

Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner has tapped her former planning director to head a new “innovation team.” Tim Knauss reports for that Andrew Maxwell has been named the municipality’s director of policy and innovation. He’ll oversee a team of four in the city’s new Office of Innovation.

Syracuse is one of 12 American cities and two in Israel that recently received Bloomberg Philanthropies grants to create innovation teams. The city in central New York State will receive a three-year grant of $1.35 million to cover most of its costs. 

The team will analyze urban data to help Syracuse solve problems and identify new ways to offer public services, the article says. Among the priorities will be a review of ways to improve deteriorating infrastructure, including water mains, Knauss reports. Syracuse’s announcement follows the hiring of a chief innovation officer in Providence, Rhode Island, another mid-sized U. S. city. 


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