Convening city experts to share solutions
To spread our impact, we have also joined local partners in Israel and South Africa to support additional training programs globally. The Bloomberg-Sagol Center for City Leadership at Tel Aviv University, launched in 2022 with the Sagol family, and the African Mayoral Leadership Initiative at the University of Cape Town, supported in 2023 with Big Win Philanthropy, will reach 20 mayors in Israel and 20 mayors in Africa every year.
Local Infrastructure Hub
In February 2023, the Local Infrastructure Hub helped 48 cities win nearly $250 million through the federal Safe Streets and Roads for All program to improve their road infrastructure and save lives. In total, 66 cities participating in our program have been awarded $327 million, with additional funding rolling out in the coming years.
Syracuse, New York, with support from the city’s i-team, is digitizing its current paper-based procurement process and working to better reach minority- and women-owned businesses. In addition to ensuring that city procurement can happen much more quickly and efficiently, this project makes it easier for a new and diverse set of vendors to learn about contracting opportunities and connect with the city.
Watch How We Help Cities By Enhancing Their Use of Data
Developing, Scaling, and Spreading Good Ideas
Since 2013, Bloomberg Philanthropies has run a series of regional and global competitions to spark innovative, replicable ideas that address cities’ biggest challenges. The Mayors Challenge has provided 38 winning cities with funding and technical assistance to realize their ideas across five rounds of the competition — in the United States (twice), Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean, and globally.
We’ve also launched efforts to replicate the most successful winning ideas in other cities worldwide, expanding the impact of the Mayors Challenge even further. From improving sustainability around waste to strengthening language development for young children, our efforts are helping spread effective programs to reach millions of residents in cities globally.
Istanbul, Turkey, was a winner of the 2021 Global Mayors Challenge for the “Pay-It-Forward” program, a social support and solidarity effort that matches residents burdened by unpaid utility bills and other needs with those willing to provide financial assistance. Following a catastrophic earthquake in February 2023, the program pivoted to add an “earthquake relief” option in partnership with local supermarkets, facilitating donations of food, hygiene items, and more than $120,000 in just two weeks.
Guadalajara, Mexico, won the 2016 Mayors Challenge for a project, called “Visor Urbano,” to digitize the city’s paper-based licensing and permitting process and reduce corruption. Championed by Mayor Enrique Alfaro Ramírez, who has gone on to become governor of the state of Jalisco, the successful project has been replicated in 90 cities across the region and beyond, reducing costs, corruption, and wait times.