January 17, 2018 Press Releases

Bloomberg Philanthropies’ What Works Cities initiative achieves goal of bringing data-based strategies that improve quality of life to 100 cities

The initiative serves more than 31 million city residents, and city halls with budgets exceeding $104 billion

NEW YORK, January 17, 2018 – Today, What Works Cities is proud to announce that, with the addition of five new cities, the initiative has reached its goal of working with 100 U.S. cities.

Bloomberg Philanthropies launched What Works Cities in 2015 to help cities with populations between 100,000 and 1 million utilize data- and evidence-based practices to effectively deliver local services and improve residents’ lives. With today’s announcement, What Works Cities’ 100 city partners collectively represent more than 31 million residents across 39 states and have annual budgets exceeding $104 billion.

“The future of what works is becoming a reality today in cities across the nation,” said Simone Brody, Executive Director of What Works Cities at Results for America. “Over the last three years, working with our partners and learning from each other, our cities have adopted sustainable practices for using data to meaningfully improve how they serve residents.”

Plans in the five new cities include:

  • Columbia, SC, will establish a data governance team and develop an open data policy to advance strategic priorities, starting with repairs and improvements to the local stormwater system.
  • Grand Rapids, MI, will implement randomized control trials to increase the effectiveness of its programs and initiatives, and also support its equity and quality-of-life goals through governance aligned to the development of data sets and an open data portal to advance strategic priorities.
  • Honolulu, HI, will draw on data-driven strategies to address local priorities, starting with affordable housing and homelessness.
  • Irving, TX, will use data to support its goals of improving quality of life in neighborhoods.
  • Long Beach, CA, will invest in its data management and performance analytics infrastructure to improve outcomes for businesses looking to settle or grow in the city.

About What Works Cities:
What Work Cities, launched by Bloomberg Philanthropies in April 2015, is one of the largest-ever philanthropic efforts to enhance cities’ use of data and evidence. Cities around the country are receiving support, guidance and resources to succeed through the initiative’s expert partners: the Behavioral Insights Team, the Center for Government Excellence at Johns Hopkins University, the Government Performance Lab at the Harvard Kennedy School, Results for America and the Sunlight Foundation. For more information, visit whatworkscities.org.

For more information, please contact:
What Works Cities, Sharman Stein, (914) 522-4102, [email protected]

For information on each of the individual cities, please contact:

Columbia, SC

Grand Rapids, MI

Honolulu, HI

Irving, TX

Long Beach, CA


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