HKS Authors

See citation below for complete author information.

Director, Bloomberg Center for Cities at Harvard University
Emma Bloomberg Senior Lecturer in Public Policy and Management


To tackle persistent boundary-spanning problems with limited resources, some cities engage in collaborative innovation, combining expertise, effort, and creativity within and outside city hall to overcome limitations of conventional practices and siloed work. This article illustrates how collaborative innovation works in practice by examining specifics of how the Buffalo Clean Sweep Initiative, unique in longevity, scope, and scale, overcame common challenges and managed typical trade-offs. We describe, based on analyses of interviews and focus groups with city staff, community partners, and residents, how problem-solving, making an impact, and learning together helped Buffalo, New York, improve quality-of-life in its poorest neighborhoods.


Robb, Katharine, Ashley Marcoux, Eleanor Dickens, and Jorrit de Jong. "Tackling Persistent, Boundary-Spanning Problems Through Collaborative Innovation: Lessons From the Clean Sweep Initiative in Buffalo, NY." Administration & Society (March 28, 2024).