The Biden-Harris Administration should create the Local Innovation Unit (LIU) to catalyze and coordinate decentralized, city and county-based experiments focused on the most urgent and complex challenges facing the United States. Traditional “top-down” methods of policy design and problem solving are no longer effective in addressing our nation’s most pressing issues, such as pandemics, climate change, and decreasing economic mobility. The nature of these problems, coupled with an absence of tested solutions or “best practices” and ongoing partisan gridlock, demands a more agile and experimental “bottom-up” approach. Such an approach focuses on empowering coalitions of social innovators at the local level—including local governments, private-sector businesses, community-based organizations, philanthropists, and universities—to design and test solutions that work for their communities. Promising solutions can then be scaled horizontally (e.g., to other cities and counties) and vertically (e.g., to inform federal policy and action).
The LIU will be a place-based policy initiative consisting of two primary components: (1) multi-city and county experimentation cohorts organized around common problems, via which local coalitions design and test solutions within their communities, and (2) a digital platform, housed in the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), that will help LIU participants connect, exchange materials and resources, help participants collect and visualize data, evaluate solutions, and publish lessons learned.
Successful commercialization efforts have now grown across the country, but what do they have in common, and why do they work? Our experts weigh in.
Leveraging the collective buying powers of cities is a powerful way to show the clear demand for the EV transition. We sat down with the Electrification Coalition to learn how they are helping cities and locales electrify their public fleets.
To increase lending to low- and moderate-income communities while protecting the 7(a) Loan Program, SBA should establish a mentor-protégé program and conditional certification regime for innovative financial technology companies.
The Detroit Regional Partnership has $52 million from the EDA to transition legacy automotive industry into a globally competitive advanced mobility cluster. Here’s how they’re doing it.