Skip to main content

363 Latin American and Caribbean Cities Enter Bloomberg Philanthropies’ 2016 Mayors Challenge

Cities Now Competing for $9 Million USD in Innovation Funds

Participation from Latin American and Caribbean Cities Tops Rates from Prior Competitions

Bloomberg Philanthropies today announced that 363 cities across Latin America and the Caribbean have entered the 2016 Mayors Challenge. These 363 cities represent 40 percent of all eligible cities in the region – topping the 30 and 28 percent participation rates experienced in the United States and European Mayors Challenge, respectively.

The 2016 Mayors Challenge will award a $5 million USD grand prize and four $1 million awards to four other cities that generate powerful ideas. Participating mayors must submit a bold idea that addresses a serious problem, improves customer service for residents, creates significant government efficiencies, and/or increases public engagement.

“It’s been great to see the excitement among Latin American and Caribbean cities since we launched the Mayors Challenge in the region. Of the three Mayors Challenges we’ve held, this year’s features the greatest number of cities and the highest rate of participation. That shows how eager the mayors are to find innovative ways to improve people’s lives, and we’re looking forward to seeing the ideas that arise from such a diverse group of cities,” said Michael R. Bloomberg, founder of Bloomberg Philanthropies and three-term Mayor of New York City.

In January, more than 900 Latin American and Caribbean cities with 100,000 or more residents were invited to compete. The 363 participating cities come from 22 countries in the region. Here are the countries represented, along with the number of participating cities: Argentina (30 cities); Bolivia (4 cities); Brazil (107 cities); Chile (34 cities); Colombia (55 cities); Costa Rica (1 city); Dominican Republic (5 cities); Ecuador (12 cities); El Salvador (4 cities); Guatemala (3 cities); Guyana (1 city); Haiti (7 cities); Honduras (3 cities); Jamaica (4 cities); Mexico (68 cities); Nicaragua (1 city); Panama (1 city); Paraguay (2 cities); Peru (12 cities); Uruguay (1 city); Suriname (1 city); and Venezuela (7 cities).

Facts on the 2016 Mayors Challenge Competition

  • The countries with the largest numbers of participating cities are Brazil with 107; Mexico with 68; Colombia with 55; and Chile with 34.
  • Three countries had 100 percent of eligible cities sign up: Jamaica had four of four; Guyana and Suriname had each one of one.
  • 203 million residents live in these 363 participating cities – or approximately 30% of all people in the region
  • Ten percent (38) of participating cities have more than one million residents
  • 16 percent (57) of participating cities have between 500,000 and one million residents
  • 74 percent (268) have between 100,000 and 500,000 residents

“We encourage all the participating cities to closely review the Mayors Challenge website for insights on how to win the competition. Winning cities from prior competitions clearly defined the problem they wanted to solve, they engaged citizens and other partners in generating new ideas, they communicated their ideas clearly and powerfully,” said James Anderson, the head of Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Government Innovation program.

Participating cities must submit their ideas online by April 15, 2016. In June, roughly 20 finalists will be announced. In July, teams from each of those finalist cities will attend Bloomberg Ideas Camp, a two-day gathering where leading innovation experts and peer cities will help finalists refine their proposals. Prize winners will be announced by the end of 2016. All Mayors Challenge winners receive robust assistance from Bloomberg Philanthropies and its partners to support implementation and document lessons learned.

To learn more about the Mayors Challenge, visit and @BloombergCities on Twitter and Instagram. Bloomberg Philanthropies has proudly partnered with the Centre for Public Impact (CPI) to implement this year’s challenge, provide related supports to city participants, and oversee coordination with other program partners. CPI is a not-for-profit, funded by The Boston Consulting Group, and dedicated to improving the positive impact of governments.

About Bloomberg Philanthropies
Bloomberg Philanthropies works in more than 120 countries around the world to ensure better, longer lives for the greatest number of people. The organization focuses on five key areas for creating lasting change: Arts, Education, Environment, Government Innovation and Public Health. Bloomberg Philanthropies encompasses all of Michael R. Bloomberg’s charitable activities, including his foundation and his personal giving. In 2015, Bloomberg Philanthropies distributed over half a billion dollars.  For more information, please visit or follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and Twitter @BloombergDotOrg.

Media Contact
Bloomberg Philanthropies, Rebecca Carriero, (212) 205-0182,