Behavioral Science Cohort

The Mayors Innovation Project partnered with Harvard’s Behavioral Insights Group to help member cities test behavioral science solutions to address city challenges. The partnership united MIP’s innovative city leaders with Harvard’s behavioral economists, decision research scholars, and behavioral scientists. By applying rigorous experimental design and data analysis to the ways in which local governments interact with their residents, and by sharing what we learn between cities, we believe we can improve outcomes for education, health, equity, the environment, city finances and more.

The first year-long cohort was accepted into the program in 2017 and included MIP member cities Burlington VT, Columbia SC, Golden CO, Grand Rapids MI, South Bend IN, and Tacoma WA. They tackled projects like increasing the amount donated to energy relief funds for low-income families at a local utility and reducing the number of chronic nuisance code violator properties in the city. Year 2 cohort cities included Portland OR, Culver City CA, Memphis TN, and Wisconsin Rapids WI.