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Record-breaking entries for 2021 Global Mayors Challenge

The Bloomberg Philanthropies’ challenge was launched in January 2021 and will select 50 “champion cities” to test their ideas for several months this year.

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The challenge aims to help cities emerge from the Covid-19 crisis even stronger
The challenge aims to help cities emerge from the Covid-19 crisis even stronger

A record-breaking 631 cities from 99 countries have entered the 2021 Global Mayors Challenge, an ideas competition to uncover and support the 50 most innovative solutions developed by cities in the wake of Covid-19.

 

The Bloomberg Philanthropies’ challenge was launched in January 2021 and will select 50 “champion cities” to test their ideas for several months this year.

 

Breakthrough ideas

 

Fifteen grand prize winners will then be named in December 2021, each of which will receive $1m to implement their breakthrough ideas and spread them to other cities globally.

 

“The record-breaking response to this year’s Global Mayors Challenge shows that cities are committed to emerging from this crisis even stronger than they were before. They’ve taken bold steps to save lives and protect their residents over the past year and the ideas being put forward build on that incredible work,” said Patricia Harris, CEO of Bloomberg Philanthropies.

 

“We’re looking forward to working with the winning cities, helping to supercharge their best and most innovative ideas, bring them to life, and spread them to other cities around the world.”

 

According to Bloomberg Philanthropies, following four previous mayors challenges run in three global regions (US, Europe, and Latin America and the Caribbean), this year’s builds on a tested, successful method for identifying bold ideas and bringing them to life in cities around the world.

“[Cities have] taken bold steps to save lives and protect their residents over the past year and the ideas being put forward build on that incredible work”

Bloomberg reports cities of every size, geography, and political affiliation representing a combined population of 500 million citizens entered this year’s challenge.

 

Trends identified in the 2021 Mayors Challenge applications include:

  • applications ‘overwhelmingly’ include the themes of economic recovery and health and well-being in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic
  • a clear majority of US applications relate to innovation surrounding racial equity, a marked increase from the 2018 US Mayors Challenge
  • 332 first-term mayors and 111 female mayors are in the pool of applicants
  • applicants span the globe, with diverse regional representation: Europe, Middle East and Africa (212); Asia-Pacific (149); Americas (270).

In June 2021, Bloomberg Philanthropies will announce 50 finalist champion cities, which represent the 50 best urban innovations to emerge from the last year. These cities will receive technical assistance and innovation support valued at nearly $150,000 per city, totalling $7m.

 

On December, 15 grand prize-winning cities from among the champion cities will be announced, each of which will receive $1m dollars to further implement their ideas.

 

Bloomberg Philanthropies said it invests in 810 cities and 170 countries around the world to ensure better, longer lives for the greatest number of people. The organisation focuses on five key areas for creating lasting change: the arts; education; environment; government innovation; and public health.

 

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