Seattle is the fastest growing city in North America with the fastest transit growth. The City needs to integrate new shared mobility services as citizens are taking less trip by car. As more mobility services are coming online, it is necessary to incorporate digital equity (access to and education for digital means) into the framework so that all communities have access. Seattle’s challenge is thus how to grow an interconnected transit culture sustainably alongside the integration of digital equity.
City Solutions Platform Outcomes
The vast range of solution providers in the CSP workshop meant that the solutions developed were unexpected and varied, from a community-driven innovation platform to mobility innovation districts. This was valuable to the City, as the workshop established a process for foundational change, beyond the initial scope. The CSP workshop prompted the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) to conduct an internal deep-dive on procurement innovation and received recommendations to advance an innovation framework.
Building on the ideas developed at the CSP workshop, SDOT ran an internal half-day workshop that resulted in one all-inclusive ‘think tank’ – the ‘think’, ‘learn’ and ‘do’ tank. This solution is structured to incorporate a range of stakeholders in a pre-procurement, non-commercial environment. Seattle layered the “think, learn, do concept” with the existing New Mobility Playbook (20 strategies to enable more innovation in city transport solutions) to formalise a process to on-board innovative ideas, co-create with the private sector and implement the ideas. The City partnered with the University of Washington & the foundation Challenge Seattle to research similar city examples of the “think, learn, do” concept, which was synthesized into a public-facing report, “Innovation Frameworks for Smart Cities“. This was extremely valuable to Seattle as they did not have a framework to on-board or procure innovative ideas, and the work leveraged partnerships to receive additional funding.
The CSP has also enabled the City of Seattle to make connections in the private sector, specifically through identification of future funding partners and solution providers. SDOT highlighted that one of the main benefits of the CSP was enabling the City to understand private sector levers and business models. This bodes well for the City’s future collaboration with the private sector to solve Seattle’s climate challenges.