Making streets safer with public art, a climate vision comes to life in NYC, helping city leaders build a better future, preventing overdoses in Kentucky
Key data points
- In one Baltimore neighborhood, the percentage of drivers yielding to walkers in intersections rose to 78%, more than doubling after the completion of an Asphalt Art project. Now, other cities in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico can apply for their own Asphalt Art projects.
- Kentucky’s overdose death rate rose 71% between 2019 and 2021, almost double the national rate. The Bloomberg Philanthropies Overdose Prevention Initiative and our partners at Vital Strategies are stepping up to help save lives.
- A 400,000-square-foot development planned for Governors Island in New York City is aiming to make New York a global leader on climate solutions.
- 465 mayors and thousands of senior city officials in 524 cities worldwide have worked with the Bloomberg Harvard City Leadership Initiative, which has evolved into a center at the university.
A Chance to Make Streets Safer with Asphalt Art in Canada, Mexico and the U.S.
Through the Bloomberg Philanthropies Asphalt Art Initiative, more than 60 cities across the U.S. and Europe have revitalized public spaces, engaged local communities, and improved safety. Along with adding vibrant colors and creative designs to city streets, Asphalt Art led to a 50% drop in the rate of crashes involving pedestrians or cyclists after projects were installed, among other safety enhancements. Now cities of any size in Canada, Mexico, and the United States can apply for a chance to receive $25,000 grants. The deadline to apply is June 12. Interested cities can learn more at https://asphaltart.bloomberg.org/.
Confronting the Overdose Death Epidemic in Kentucky
Overdose deaths in the U.S. reached a tragic record last year, claiming more than 100,000 lives. Few places have been hit harder than Kentucky, where the rate of fatalities increased almost twice as fast as the national pace. To help tackle the problem and save lives, our partner Vital Strategies, through the Bloomberg Philanthropies Overdose Prevention Initiative, is investing $10 million over five years to expand harm reduction approaches. “Overdose deaths are a spiraling crisis and a tragic driver of the first-ever drop in American life expectancy,” said Dr. Kelly Henning, who leads the Public Health programs at Bloomberg Philanthropies. “We know that with political will, resources, and a public health approach, we can reverse this deadly trend.”
A First-in-the-Nation Climate Research, Education, and Jobs Hub
Bloomberg Philanthropies is committing $50 million to support the creation of the New York Climate Exchange, a state-of-the-art, 400,000-square-foot campus planned for Governors Island in New York City. Recently announced by Mayor Eric Adams, the Climate Exchange will serve as an anchor institution for the city’s Center for Climate Solutions initiative, and play host to cutting-edge research, education, and climate action from a cross-sector consortium led by Stony Brook University. Creation of the Exchange fulfills a vision that began during Mike’s time as mayor, when he successfully worked to secure the island from Federal and State agencies with the intent to transform it into a park and university campus.
Helping City Leaders Prepare for a Better Future
By 2050, 80% of the global population is expected to live in cities. It’s critical, as Mike says, that they “remain vibrant centers of invention and opportunity, where people from all walks of life come together to build a better future.” To support mayors and city officials, and develop the next generation of local leaders, the newly opened Bloomberg Center for Cities at Harvard University will be a first-of-its-kind resource for tools and research, executive education and training, fellowships, and collaborative connections. Building on the success of the Bloomberg Harvard City Leadership Initiative, it will help cities continue to meet our biggest challenges with creativity and innovation.
A Conversation on Climate Storytelling
How can the stories we tell in movies and on television help mobilize climate action? In this episode of our Follow the Data podcast, host Katherine Oliver sits down with Scott Z. Burns, the showrunner, director, writer and executive producer of the Apple TV+ climate series Extrapolations, and Anna Jane Joyner, the founder and director of Bloomberg Philanthropies partner Good Energy, a nonprofit that works to portray the climate crisis in film and television scripts in entertaining and artful ways. They discuss keeping viewers engaged while telling stories about climate change, and what they hope people will take away from Extrapolations.
Financial Empowerment and Racial Wealth Equity
To accelerate Black wealth accumulation in the U.S., Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Greenwood Initiative is partnering with the Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund (CFE Fund) and CityStart to help Black families and communities build financial stability.The CFE Fund recently announced eight cities — Baltimore, MD; Cleveland, OH; Monroe, LA; Newark, NJ; Norfolk, VA; Rocky Mount, NC; Sacramento, CA; and Tallahassee/Leon County, FL — that will work with CityStart to explore policies and programs that support financial empowerment, with advising from the Greenwood Initiative to ensure those efforts are focused on opportunities for Black residents.
Mike and Emma Bloomberg are joined by Princeton University Dean of the College Jill Dolan and the Princeton Tiger at the opening of the Emma Bloomberg Center for Access and Opportunity at Princeton University. The Center will focus on expanding access to top colleges by supporting first-generation college students, veterans, students transferring from community colleges, and students from lower-income families. It will also serve as a research hub for increasing socioeconomic diversity across higher education.
Learn more about the Emma Bloomberg Center for Access and Opportunity