We live in an age of uncertainty and change and, consequently, we are asked to be flexible and innovative. Innovation has become a magic concept-a key tool for addressing the complex challenges of the new millennium. In this context, the paper focuses on the difficult relation between innovation and public policies-a complex relationship, because public administration has to face, at the same time, the imperatives of security and flexibility, of regularity and adaptability. In other terms, the public sector is badly equipped for innovation, but, simultaneously, innovation is persistently knocking on its door. Public administration has been designed for doing the same things in the same manner, but, now, we are expecting that public policies would be highly innovative and suited for a world in rapid transformation. Our work starts from this premises and devotes the initial pages to conceptually define the why and what of innovation in public policies. Once such bases have been built, the article addresses its Our work starts from this premises and devotes the initial pages to conceptually define the why and what of innovation in public policies. Once such bases have been built, the article addresses its central question: how can we promote innovation in public policies? This is an empirical question that tries to shift the academic debate from theory to practice. In order to answer such question, the paper develops two hypotheses and presents four cases studies in a summarizing form. Hypotheses are used to identify the two principal factors that can stimulate innovation in public policies: a) environment (hybrid, creative and holistic); and b) the engines (superior, lateral, internal and external). The four cases studies refer to innovative public policies: the Landscape Catalogue, as public policy which conceives the landscape as a key factor for people's quality of life; the Neighborhood's Law, a comprehensive policy against urban segregation; the Community Centres of Girona, a social cohesion policy based on a relational and communitarian approach; and the Super-city blocks in the district of Gracia (Barcelona), a mobility policy based on a multifaceted approach to the urban public space.
|Journal||Reforma y Democracia|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Jan 2014|
- Case analysis
- Public policy