Mayors Challenge: Announcing this year’s 50 Champion Cities

Mayors Challenge: Announcing this year’s 50 Champion Cities

The finalists were elevated based on four criteria: vision, potential for impact, feasibility, and transferability

Bloomberg Philanthropies today announced the 50 Champion Cities, representing the boldest urban innovations of the past year, that will advance to the finalist stage of the 2021 Global Mayors Challenge, a worldwide competition that encourages and spreads cities’ most promising ideas. This year’s Challenge focuses on elevating the most important innovations generated in response to the global COVID-19 pandemic.

The 50 cities named today hail from 29 nations on six continents. They emerged from a highly competitive applicant pool: Mayors from 631 cities in 99 countries submitted their most promising ideas for consideration. That’s twice the number of cities that applied in Bloomberg Philanthropies’ last Mayors Challenge, held in the United States in 2018. The finalists were elevated based on four criteria: vision, potential for impact, feasibility, and transferability.

The ideas provide a powerful snapshot of the innovation priorities of the world’s cities. At the global level, approaches focusing on improving health and reducing unemployment were most common. Racial justice emerged as the area of highest priority for U.S. cities, while social inclusion topped the European submissions. In Africa, where the world is experiencing its fastest rates of urbanization, infrastructure was dominant. Nearly half of the submissions were generated in part through participatory processes with residents.

“These 50 finalists are showing the world that, in the face of the pandemic’s enormous challenges, cities are rising to meet them with bold, innovative, and ambitious ideas,” said Michael R. Bloomberg, founder of Bloomberg LP and Bloomberg Philanthropies and 108th mayor of New York City. “By helping these cities test their ideas over the coming months, we will have a chance to identify cutting-edge policies and programs that can allow cities to rebuild in ways that make them stronger and healthier, and more equal and more just.”

The Champion Cities are:

Akron | Amman | Auckland | Baltimore | Bilbao | Birmingham | Bogotá | Butuan | Cape Town | Cartagena | Columbus | Danané | Daegu | Durham | Freetown | Glasgow | Guadalajara | Hermosillo | Istanbul | Kigali | Kumasi | La Paz | Lansing | Leuven | London | Long Beach | Louisville | Lusaka | Manila | Meru | New Orleans | Newark | Paris | Paterson | Phoenix | Pune | Recife | Renca | Rio de Janeiro | Rochester | Rosario | Rotterdam | Rourkela | San Jose | Taipei | Tel Aviv-Yafo | Tunja | Umuaka | Vilnius | Wellington

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