copy the linklink copied!Annex B. Athens Road Map on Innovation for Inclusive Growth

In 2019, the OECD Champion Mayors for Inclusive Growth Initiative created the Athens Road Map: Innovation for Inclusive Growth in Cities, which was adopted by the 60 mayors who make up the coalition. The Road Map documented a commitment from local leaders to leverage the full potential of innovation to promote innovation policies and practices that helped cities become places of shared prosperity, equal opportunity and champions of well-being for all members of society. Implementing the Road Map implies working together with communities, citizens, non-governmental organisations, businesses, academia, stakeholders and other levels of government in three main areas: 1) social innovation; 2) technological innovation; and 3) public sector innovation.

Strategies on social innovation aim to create a local fertile ecosystem for the promotion of better societal outcomes:

  • Promote new ways to extend and deliver existing local public services and develop new relevant services that reach underserved areas of our cities.

  • Respond to the needs of new local businesses by developing targeted local employment policies that connect low-skilled individuals and disadvantaged groups.

  • Develop new and efficient ways to finance and provide social and community services for disadvantaged groups and the elderly such as healthcare, nursing services, barrier-free housing and home care.

  • Promote social innovation, for instance through incubators and training, and work to establish a fertile ecosystem for innovation to flourish, that encourages flexibility, experimentation and upscaling.

  • Ensure that those left behind are targeted with customised employment and activation programmes that are adaptable, relevant and respond to the new needs of the local labour market.

  • Provide the enabling legal, fiscal and regulatory environment to support social enterprises and social entrepreneurs including, for instance, through social clauses in local public procurement procedures, and raise awareness about their contribution to the local economy and citizen well-being.

  • Promote financial models or forms that encourage social economy, including those which engage citizens through co-operatives or other forms of social enterprises in areas such as affordable housing, decentralised renewable energy, food production and distribution.

Strategies on technological and digital innovation aim to build the cities of the future and enhance their contribution to better well-being outcomes:

  • Explore how to effectively embrace and plan for sustainable smart urban solutions across different sectors such as energy, water, transport, solid waste, health, land use, but also to expand service delivery to underserved communities without over depleting resources.

  • Leverage digitalisation to deliver more efficient, sustainable, affordable, and inclusive local public services and urban environments, for instance real-time data, electronic congestion tolls, smart parking systems, Internet of Things sensors, smart contracts, among others.

  • Ensure that new technology in public transport (e.g. app-based ride services and shared mobility) is both inclusive and sustainable, including to those with reduced mobility and those in underserved communities.

  • Anticipate the future arrival of automatic and driverless vehicles and potential impacts when integrating them into the mobility profile of cities, with safety as the highest priority. This would include anticipating and capitalising upon changes in land use, housing and transportation patterns triggered by smart urban solutions.

  • Take advantage of technologies that help better manage and visualise city investments, housing development, and predict potential areas at risk of limited access to services and opportunity, and plan accordingly.

  • Enhance efforts to collect and use data to improve accessibility of job opportunities, public services, green, cultural and leisure spaces in our cities and metropolitan areas.

  • Encourage new approaches to retraining and upskilling workers and to prepare young people for jobs of the future, and mitigate the impact of automation and digitalisation on the local labour market.

  • Leverage the potential of data innovation, including smart, big, open and geospatial data, to ground urban policy decisions in up-to-date and quality information and evidence, while safeguarding the privacy of individuals.

  • Recognise that tech-driven solutions are as important to the poor as they are to the affluent, by exploring not only the potential benefits, but also the challenges, linked with artificial intelligence, automation and disruptive technologies on marginalised and disadvantaged groups, and address them.

  • Adopt appropriate local regulation for the sharing and gig economy to further employment security, protect the public interest and workers’ social safety nets.

  • Strengthen the monitoring and evaluation of local policies to demonstrate how smart cities can improve administrative and fiscal processes, engage citizens better, build trust in city leaders, and shape better lives and outcomes for residents.

Strategies on public sector innovation aim to accelerate the uptake of new processes, practices and approaches in cities of all size:

  • Promote a culture of innovation within our administration that incentivises experimentation and risk taking; build the local capacity through dedicated goals, strategies, staff and budget, to advance our social agendas in our policies. This includes attracting the human and fiscal resources to implement the range of policies, programmes and projects designed to promote inclusion and growth with equity.

  • Promote the uptake of innovative financial mechanisms based on sound valuation practices, which includes considering a range of land-based finance tools, infrastructure funds and sustainability bonds to finance public spaces, urban infrastructure, neighbourhood development and affordable housing creation.

  • Promote an agile and flexible model of city governance through innovative collaborative tools, partnerships or forms of contracts that put the interest of local residents at the centre, including through inter-municipal collaboration and public-private partnership.

  • Reinforce strategic management and innovation capabilities of local public officials to design and implement integrated urban strategies that match the complexity of current and future challenges.

  • Promote new and broader forms of citizen engagement to put local residents at the centre of policy planning, design and implementation by engaging community in decision making regarding public spaces and infrastructure choice through citizen councils, use of technology, citizen monitoring and public innovation labs.

  • Promote open government initiatives to expand and facilitate access to public information, increased transparency and accountability of decision makers, as well as instances of co-creation of public policies.

  • Explore innovative participatory budgeting for citizens to have a say in how public funds are spent, in particular concerning programmes and infrastructure projects pursuing inclusive objectives.

  • Promote sustainable public procurement combining economic, social and environmental objectives, to create and shape local markets with an inclusive and green growth lens, change consumption and production patterns, and transition from linear to circular economies in shared responsibility with business and citizens.

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Annex B. Athens Road Map on Innovation for Inclusive Growth