City of San Rafael

The City of San Rafael is located in Marin County, which sits in the North Bay region of the San Francisco Bay Area. San Rafael is home to nearly 60,000 residents. The City has a total area of 22.4 square miles, 6 of which is water.  

Client need

The City of San Rafael seeks to modernize outdated processes and service delivery models through a digital-first, human-centered approach and has recognized the need to foster employee ownership in the effort. The City intends to build upon ongoing efforts to support creative problem solving by employees at all levels of the organization. The City Service Innovation project sits at the intersection of strategies to drive an improved customer experience for residents and a culture of continuous improvement through an engaged workforce.


The CivicMakers team is leveraging our work in service design, community engagement, organizational change management and training programs to support current and future institutionalization of innovation projects throughout the City. Our approach includes:

1. Co-design of curriculum for an “Innovation Academy” intended to train all City employees in human-centered design

2. Communications plan, project messaging framework, and baseline success metrics