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CityScore recognized as part of 2017 Bright Ideas in Government initiative


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Mayor's Office

CityScore scores the City of Boston's performance on individual metrics and delivers a single, indicative number to see how operations are going.

The Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, has recognized CityScore as part of the 2017 Bright Ideas in Government initiative. CityScore is part of a cohort that includes programs from all levels of government - school districts, county, city, state, federal agencies, and tribal nations, as well as public-private partnerships - that represent the next horizon in government work to improve services, solve problems and work on behalf of citizens.

"It's an honor for CityScore to be recognized as a 2017 Harvard Ash Center Bright Idea," said Jascha Franklin-Hodge, Boston's Chief Information Officer. "Since its creation last year, CityScore has become an invaluable tool to monitor performance and create lasting improvements in Boston. We will continue to develop and expand CityScore as part of our larger commitment improve quality of life, government efficiency and public transparency."

CityScore is a first-of-its kind tool created by the City of Boston to provide Mayor Martin J. Walsh, City staff and residents a way to understand the overall health of the City by scoring the City's performance on individual metrics and delivering a single, indicative number to see how operations are going on a day-to-day basis. By displaying near real-time data on City operations and quality-of-life metrics, CityScore helps the City be more responsive and effective.

Since its launch last January, CityScore has helped improve the efficiency of core City services, including increased resources for emergency medical services. Last August, Mayor Walsh and the Department of Innovation and Technology (DoIT) launched an open source toolkit for CityScore to allow other cities and organizations to implement their own version of CityScore.

"These programs demonstrate that there are no prerequisites for doing the good work of governing," said Stephen Goldsmith, director of the Innovations in American Government Program at the Ash Center. "Small towns and massive cities, huge federal agencies and local school districts, large budgets or no budgets at all - what makes government work best is the drive to do better, and this group proves that drive can be found anywhere."

This is the fifth cohort recognized through the Bright Ideas program, an initiative of the broader Innovations in American Government Awards program. For consideration as a Bright Idea, programs must currently be in operation or in the process of launching, have sufficient operational resources and must be administered by one or more governmental entities; nonprofit, private sector, and union initiatives are eligible if operating in partnership with a governmental organization. Bright Ideas are showcased on the Ash Center's Government Innovators Network, an online platform for practitioners and policymakers to share innovative public policy solutions.

Visit the Government Innovators Network at for the full list of Bright Ideas programs and for more information regarding the Innovations in American Government Awards.

About the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation

The Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation advances excellence in governance and strengthens democratic institutions worldwide. Through its research, education, international programs, and government innovations awards, the Center fosters creative and effective government problem solving and serves as a catalyst for addressing many of the most pressing needs of the world's citizens. For more information, visit