Birmingham has been chosen to pilot a new Government value-for-money push.
The city council will look at ways in which £7 billion spent in Birmingham each year on public services could be used more effectively.
The Total Place initiative aims to radically change the way services are delivered by examining all the spending going into an area, cutting bureaucracy and making money work harder, according to Communities Secretary John Denham.
Birmingham will study in particular money spent by various bodies, including the council, on mental health, drug and alcohol misuse and housing.
Work on the project will be led by Be Birmingham, the city strategic partnership.
Coventry, Solihull and Worcestershire have also been chosen to take part in the initiative.
Birmingham City Council chief executive Stephen Hughes believes Total Place can help offset the impact of future public spending cuts.
Mr Hughes said: “There is no doubt that within the current economic climate we will all face an uncompromising financial regime.
“The Total Place project will allow the council to work with local partners to deliver better services for the people that live in Birmingham.
“In total, over £7 billion is spent within the public sector across the city – it is only right that we look a how we maximise every pound that is spent, and work in partnership to avoid unnecessary overlap where it may exist.”
Every effort, penny and outcome against residents’ needs will be scrutinised to see where duplication can be cut or gaps filled, with the results being reported back to the Government, he added.
In an letter to the Total Place pilots, Mr Denham and the Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Liam Byrne, urged them to “push an open door” to Whitehall when they report back and say what they could do differently or what blocks to lift to allow that to happen.
Mr Byrne (Lab Hodge Hill) said: “When public servants pull together, they can deliver big change faster.”