Efficient, Innovative & Better Every Day

Efficient, Innovative & Better Every Day

"What is your #1 idea for improving city services? How could they be more simple, efficient or innovative?"

Are you ready to roll up your sleeves to make this city even more amazing? If so, this is the place to start. Share your solutions that could help us cut red tape and make government more innovative and efficient. We are committed to making life better every day but we need your help to make it happen.

Note: This challenge has been replaced by a new Cut Red Tape challenge.The ideas below will be continue to be available for viewing, voting, and comments.


Challenge Brief

It all started with Cutting Red Tape

From 2010 to 2015 the Mayor's Cut Red Tape program achieved tangible savings for The City of Calgary. We're proud of these accomplishments but know there is still work to be done to make our processes more cost-effective and easier for Citizens.

The Civic Innovation YYC program represents a commitment by the City of Calgary Administration to make sure this program continues. Let's keep the momentum going!

What is Innovation?

We live in a world that is changing more rapidly every day. This means that the city services we’ve created in the past might not fit the needs of the future. In the Civic Innovation YYC program we think of innovation like a big umbrella. Sometimes it’s about optimizing the work already at hand – refining a tool to really meet a citizen’s needs quickly. Other times innovation takes longer. Then it’s about strategically tackling the bigger picture and transforming not just what we work on, but how we work.

What is Red Tape?

Red tape adds time and complication when there often doesn’t need to be any.

Red tape refers to non-essential procedures, forms, licenses, and regulations that Calgarians face which add to the cost of dealing with The City of Calgary. This includes anything obsolete, redundant, wasteful or confusing that diminishes Calgary’s economic and lifestyle competitiveness and stands in the way of job creation or wastes taxpayer time and money.

Red tape does not include activities that are demonstrably effective and necessary for the protection of public health, safety, and environment.

Where can I go for more inspiration?

There are a number of different resources that you might use to help jumpstart your creativity. Check out these great sources of data and information.

How does this fit in with Council Priorities?

Two of the five Council Priorities relate closely with this challenge:

  • A Prosperous City
    • Calgary continues to grow as a magnet for talent, a place where there is opportunity for all, and the best place in Canada to start and grow a business.
    • Cut red tape and continue to foster a competitive tax environment to help small business succeed.
  • A Well-run City
    • Calgary's government is open, responsive, accountable and transparent, delivering excellent services at a fair price. We work with our government partners to ensure we have the tools we need.
    • Continue to transform the organization to be more citizen-focused in its approach and delivery of service.

These Council Priorities provide the focus for the City’s 2015-2018 business plans and budgets.

Our Commitment

Where possible, Civic Innovation YYC will support* the development of great ideas that come from employees, citizens and businesses to improve civic services. To identify which ideas to explore further we use a combinations of popular voting on this platform and evaluation by the Civic Innovation Internal Advisory Committee. We also use data analytics and low cost/no cost prototype testing to identify and incubate potential opportunities.

Currently, we expect to provide updates about which ideas are being reviewed, tested or implemented on a quarterly basis through this platform. This process is still very much "in beta". As we learn more about how to help government enable innovation we will evolve and refine our process. We intend to share what we learn about this here on the platform as well.

We can’t guarantee that every idea will be tested, but we will use this platform to make sure that each has the opportunity to be viewed and shared. The more votes, comments and supporting information that an idea has, the more likely we be able to work to test it in some way. If there is a clear community of people willing to roll up their sleeves to help then that will also accelerate the process.

Be bold, be creative and innovate with us!
We want to hear from you.
We want to work with you to help make our City a better place to live, every day.