Prototyping is a way for cities to reduce risk and improve services by testing new ideas before implementing them.
Prototyping new products by testing early versions with customers is common practice in the private sector. But it's a largely unknown concept in government. Rather than testing ideas and designing potential solutions with resident input, government often seeks public comment only after most of the details have been decided.
However, as a growing number of cities have demonstrated, the practice of public prototyping is on the rise. As part of this year's 2018 U.S. Mayors Challenge, the 35 Champion Cities worked with coaches to prototype solutions in partnership with residents.