As mayors’ innovation contest challenges unfolding, 50 finalist cities set to reinforce ideas with residents in the coming months

Grand prize winners will be chosen in early 2022

NEW YORK, June 15, 2021 / PRNewswire / – Bloomberg Philanthropies Today ad the 50 Champion Cities, representing the most daring urban innovations of the past year, which will advance to the finalist stage of the Global Mayors Challenge 2021, a global innovation competition that encourages and disseminates the most promising ideas of cities. This year’s program focuses on improving the most important public innovations generated in response to the global COVID-19 pandemic.

(PRNewsfoto / Bloomberg Philanthropies)

The 50 cities named today come from 29 nations on 6 continents. They emerged from a highly competitive pool of candidates: Mayors from 631 cities in 99 countries submitted their most promising ideas for consideration, nearly double the number of cities that applied in Bloomberg Philanthropies’ latest Mayors Challenge, organized at United States in 2018. The finalists were selected on the basis of four criteria: vision, impact potential, feasibility and transferability.

The ideas provide a powerful insight into the innovation priorities of cities around the world. Globally, innovations focused on improving health and reducing unemployment were the most common. Racial justice emerged as the priority area for American cities, while social inclusion was at the top of European submissions. In Africa, where the world experiences its fastest rates of urbanization, infrastructure was dominant. Almost half of the submissions were generated in part through participatory processes with residents.

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

The 50 champion cities of the Global Mayors Challenge 2021 are:

  • Africa (16% of finalists):

  • Asia Pacific (16% of finalists):

  • Europe (16% of finalists):

  • South America (16% of finalists):

  • Middle East (4% of finalists):

  • North America (32% of finalists):

The Mayors Challenge Selection Committee helped Bloomberg Philanthropies select the 50 finalists. The committee is co-chaired by the Bloomberg Philanthropies Board Member Mellody Hobson, co-CEO and president, Ariel Investments, and David Miliband, Chairman and CEO, International Rescue Committee, and includes a wide range of global experts: Sir David Adjaye, founder of OBE, Adjaye Associates; Dr Yogan Pillay, Country Director for South Africa and Senior Global Director for Universal Health Coverage, Clinton Health Access Initiative; Jagan Shah, Senior Infrastructure Advisor, Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, British High Commission, New Delhi; Linda gibbs, Main, Bloomberg Associates; Julia gillard, 27th Prime Minister of Australia; Olafur Eliasson, Artist; Gaël Garcia Bernal, actor and producer; Dr. Jan-Emmanuel De Neve, Professor of Economics and Director, Center for Research on Well-Being, Oxford University; Ms. Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations and Executive Director of UN Women; Federica Mogherini, Rector, College of Europe and former High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy; Dr. Joshua Sharfstein, Director, Bloomberg American Health Initiative, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health; Jennifer Pahlka, Founder and Former Executive Director, Code for America; and Mariana Costa Checa, co-founder and CEO, Laboratoria.

“The level of creativity and innovation among this year’s fifty champion cities is a clear sign that cities continue to step up despite the greatest challenges,” said Mellody Hobson. “I can’t wait to see these ideas start to come to life in the next phase of the competition.”

“With fifty champion cities come fifty exciting opportunities to foster innovative ideas,” said David Miliband. “The next phase of championing will provide city leaders with essential tools to test, learn and develop these solutions. “

The 50 finalist cities will now enter a four-month testing phase to refine their ideas with technical support from Bloomberg Philanthropies and its network of leading innovation experts. Fifteen of the 50 cities will ultimately win the grand prize, each receiving $ 1 million and strong multi-year technical assistance to implement and evolve their ideas.

“It is always a particularly exciting phase of the Mayors Challenge, helping mayors to push their innovations to even higher heights,” said James anderson, head of government innovation at Bloomberg Philanthropies. “While 15 cities will ultimately win the grand prizes, all 50 cities receive world-class coaching and support to enhance their ideas and life-improving potential.”

Click on here for more details on the proposals of the champion cities. Watch the announcement video here.

The Global Mayors Challenge 2021 builds on the success of four previous Bloomberg Philanthropies Challenges in the United States (2013 and 2018), Europe (2014) and Latin America and the Caribbean (2016). Previous big winners of the Mayors Challenge include Los Angeles, California tackle the homelessness crisis in the city by making it easier and cheaper to build accessory housing units (ADUs); Stockholm, Sweden project to convert plant waste into biochar to promote plant growth; and Barcelona, ​​Spain help seniors build community through technology. For more information visit and @BloombergCities on Twitter and Instagram.

About Bloomberg Philanthropies
Bloomberg Philanthropies invests in 810 cities and 170 countries around the world to ensure better and longer lives for as many people as possible. The organization focuses on five key areas to create lasting change: the arts, education, the environment, government innovation and public health. Bloomberg Philanthropies encompasses all Michael R. Bloomberg donations, including his foundation, corporate and personal philanthropy, and Bloomberg Associates, a volunteer consulting firm that works in cities around the world. In 2020, Bloomberg Philanthropies distributed $ 1.6 billion. For more information, please visit or follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Youtube, Twitter, and TIC Tac.



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