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Nutter Ushers In Philadelphia’s New Office For Government Innovation

By Mike Dunn

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Philadelphia mayor Michael Nutter has created a new office to devise small-scale solutions to big problems.

“It is signed and therefore ordered,” the mayor said as he signed an executive order formally creating an office that has actually been working for several months.

Modeled after a similar effort in Boston, it is called the Office of New Urban Mechanics.

“(It) will test out new ideas, experiment, develop, and I expect that they will create real change here in Philadelphia,” Nutter said.

The office will have two staffers, Jeff Friedman and Story Bellows.

Friedman gave an example of one of their efforts:

“One thing that we’re working to pilot is called ‘Neighborhow.’  It’s a wiki that helps people share information about how to accomplish civic projects.”

The budget for the Urban Mechanics office is roughly $200,000 a year, for the combined salaries of the two staffers.


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