innovative cities boston

City government is at the center of Boston's innovative programs. Its office of New Urban Mechanics works on pilot programs to improve the lives of its citizens. This takes the form of everything from smartphone apps to green buildings to education. A recent project matched local middle school girls with female mentors from Harvard and MIT in science workshops where they made Claymation videos and built robotic arms.

The city also has a new Innovation District that's dedicated to entrepreneurship and is home to over 200 startups.

Boston is also leveraging the latest technology and opening it up to the public -- a new site allows anyone with an Internet connection to search the city's budget and understand where city funds are being spent.

But where Boston really succeeds is education -- and not just for all those Ivy League kids. The city has a vast number of resources available to those struggling in the public school system, and its outreach has made the high school dropout rate one of the lowest in the country. (Photo: Shutterstock) --J.E.

How Boston is getting dropouts back to school

First published October 7, 2014: 1:15 AM ET