Philadelphia, December 10, 2012 – Mayor Michael A. Nutter signed Executive Order No. 5-12, formally creating the Mayor’s Office of New Urban Mechanics. The new office will serve as an internal innovation hub, connecting City departments and agencies with outside entities to create, support or pilot small-scale projects to work towards solutions for civic problems.
“Philadelphia is an innovation city with immense talent and a great start-up environment. It is the right blend of forward-thinking and entrepreneurial idealism to establish the Mayor’s Office of New Urban Mechanics,” said Mayor Nutter. “New Urban Mechanics will have the flexibility to experiment, the ability to re-invent public-private partnerships and the strategic vision to create real change for Philadelphia. I am excited to establish the Office of New Urban Mechanics as a civic innovation tool for urban transformation.”
The Mayor’s Office of New Urban Mechanics will be co-directed by Jeff Friedman and Story Bellows. Jeff Friedman has been with the Nutter Administration since 2008, previously working as the Philly 311 Project Manager, Chief of Staff to the Chief Technology Officer and Manager of Civic Innovation and Participation. Story Bellows, who joined the Administration in April 2012, served previously as the Director of the Mayors’ Institute on City Design in Washington, D.C.
“Philadelphia has an incredibly rich mix of passionate and creative civic minded individuals – both in and outside of government. We are excited to work with and bring together these people to strengthen and sustain the civic innovation movement that is developing here in Philadelphia,” said Story Bellows.
The Mayor’s Office of New Urban Mechanics is modeled after the office of the same name in Boston, Massachusetts and is only the second of its kind in the country.