Tech and Innovation Work Takes Hold in Anchorage, Alaska

GovTech: Anchorage, Alaska’s innovation team is housed in a unique space, at least in terms of government offices in the state’s most populous city.

The innovation lab, as this space is called, has none of the plain walls or gray cubicles generally associated with government workplaces. Instead, the innovation lab is located on the ground floor of city hall and has an open floor plan, walls covered by colorful post-it notes, white boards brimming with ideas, and plenty of light spilling in through its ample windows — many of which face a bus transit center. This all gives Anchorage’s public servants and residents alike a glimpse of the activity within.

This space is perhaps indicative of how in recent years tech and innovation has begun to take hold within Anchorage’s city government. Technologists there are now working to improve quality of life through open data, smart cities, human-centric design and many other initiatives often found in larger jurisdictions. Fueled by participation in roughly a half-dozen philanthropic programs, this Alaskan city of roughly 300,000 residents has become a regional hub for gov tech, and one need only steal a peek inside the innovation lab to get a sense of what’s happening.

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