Bloomberg U.S. Mayor's Challenge

Helping improve citizens’ lives across the globe

The Bloomberg U.S. Mayors Challenge is a yearlong competition that challenges city leaders to uncover and test bold, inventive ideas to confront the toughest problems faced by cities today. Nine cities received $1 million to begin implementation on potentially breakthrough solutions to homelessness, the opioid crisis, mobility, climate change, and economic opportunity. The U.S. Mayors Challenge has infused more than $17 million into 300 cities over the past year through idea accelerator workshops and coaching, the testing phase with Champion Cities, and awards to Challenge winners. The program has engaged local leaders across the country to embrace innovation practices and creative problem solving to deliver better results for residents. The Mayors Challenge is part of the American Cities Initiative, a suite of investments to strengthen city halls and advance critical policies.
“Mayors across the country are tackling the big issues that Washington is ignoring. This competition is designed to help them do even more, by incentivizing and supporting big – and achievable – new ideas,” said Michael R. Bloomberg, founder of Bloomberg Philanthropies and three-term mayor of New York City. “Congratulations to all of the winning mayors, who represent cities large and small, in regions across the country. We look forward to seeing the results of their work — and to helping the ideas that prove most effective spread far and wide.”

Our fellow U.S. Mayors Challenge Winners are:

  • Denver, CO will work to improve air quality by installing cutting-edge air-pollution sensors around schools that will provide data to inform the city’s approach to making the air safer for all.
  • Durham, NC will work to get drivers out of their cars and into alternative modes of transit by incentivizing behavior change, for example with prizes.
  • Fort Collins, CO will work to make housing safer and more energy efficient for low-income renters by offering landlords a creative mix of low-cost financing, simplified underwriting, and pre-screened contractors.
  • Georgetown, TX will become the first energy independent community in the country by partnering with residents to install solar panels and battery storage at their homes.
  • Los Angeles, CA will develop a new way for residents to help solve the city’s homelessness crisis by building additional units of housing on their property and renting them to Angelenos who are homeless or at risk of homelessness for an agreed upon period of time.
  • New Rochelle, NY will improve development projects by using virtual reality technology to clearly present plans for new buildings and public spaces to residents.
  • Philadelphia, PA will work to make the justice system less traumatic for young people under 18 by creating new facilities specifically designed to address trauma and connect kids with resources rather than sending them to regular police stations.
  • South Bend, IN will help low-income and part-time workers with unreliable transport options commute to their jobs by partnering with ride-share companies and employers, who will help offset the cost.

Check out our Bloomberg U.S. Mayors Challenge Site to learn more about the Bloomberg process.