Carlsbad businesses thrive in a data-informed, well-managed what works city

Carlsbad is known for its innovative business community, its diverse talent pool of highly educated individuals, and of course its  exceptional quality of life. These elements are also representative of the city itself and how it operates. In fact, they have contributed to the city’s latest desig- nation as a “What Works City”, which acknowledges the hard work the city has invested over years and decades to be efficient, data-informed, and through the city’s Economic Development Strategic Plan development, businesses, residents, and partners were meaningfully engaged to ensure representation of Carls- bad’s unique economy and community. The certification recognizes Carlsbad’s dedication to data-informed decision-making and prioritization of stakeholder engagement, sustainability, and resident wellbeing.

Unlocking data for the benefit of the community was also key to the city’s success. One example is the new Fire Operations Intelligence System that uses 911 dispatch data to provide data insights to the fire department. An innovative blend of civic innovation and public safety expertise resulted in a ground-breaking system that offers a real-time data visualization and reporting for fire operations. It equips the department with critical information to reduce response overall well-run local government.

The What Works Cities (WWC) Certification pro- gram is funded by Bloomberg Philanthropies and led by Results  for  America. It is the first-of-its-kind international standard of excellence for data-driven, well-managed local governments. The pro- gram evaluates municipal agencies’ use of data and evidence in decision-making, pol- icy formation, and service improvements. It provides free access to experts from the public, private, and academic sectors to assist cities in continuous improvement, performance management, and operational excellence efforts.


On June 21, 2023, the city received a Silver Certification by What Works Cities for its extraordinary use of data to inform pol- icy decisions, allocate resources, improve services, evaluate program effectiveness, and engage residents. Carlsbad effective- ly showcased its leadership’s dedication to consistently communicating the value of data and evidence, as well as the pivotal role data plays in government decision-mak- ing and operations, resonating with the community. Demonstrated through its strong relationships with the Carlsbad Chamber of Commerce, Carlsbad Village Association, and Visit Carlsbad, the city was also recognized for its continued efforts to foster collaborate partnerships within the business community.

An expert panel lauded Carlsbad for its commitment to community collaboration and data-driven decision making, establishing it as a model city that harnesses data and evidence to benefit its community. This recognition should bolster confidence in residents and businesses about the city’s efficient service de- livery and responsible fiscal stewardship.

In its pursuit of delivering exceptional customer service, the city of Carlsbad emphasizes streamlining operations from permit acquisition to bill payment. Recognizing that our inviting amenities, like beaches and parks, efficient mobility operations, public safety, and unique community character, at- tract talent and boost the economy, the city is committed to enhancing these elements that draw residents, workers, and visitors alike. The What Works Cities Certification under- scores Carlsbad’s commitment to nurturing a fertile, innovative business environment and balanced economic growth. For example, times and a tool for strategic planning to improve emergency services. Fueling our thriving economy, the city’s innovative fusion of technology and data ensures robust public safety and community wellbeing.

Carlsbad has leveraged smart data to be- come a powerhouse for innovation, offer- ing top-notch infrastructure and resources. As a well-managed city, it attracts custom- ers, investors, and talented professionals. For businesses big or small, choosing Carls- bad means joining a resilient community known for its success and innovative ap- proach. Together, we build a formula for lasting prosperity.

Carlsbad’s dedication to fostering a vi- brant and business-friendly community is clear, and the recent WWC Certification rec- ognizes a promising future, ensuring your business will flourish here.