Mayors have a critical role to play in shaping the future of cities worldwide. They make decisions impacting billions of people and are facing mounting societal challenges that call for smart policymaking.
In a bid to give them the tools they need to implement the most effective policies and actions, Bloomberg Philanthropies, in collaboration with Harvard University, today announced a $150 million investment to create the Bloomberg Center for Cities at Harvard University.
The new centre has been established to ensure mayors and their teams have access to a range of programmes and tools, all designed to give them the practicable organisational skills they need to solve the problems impacting their cities.
“We look forward to seeing the resources, tools, and support provided by the Center put to good use in city halls around the world,” said Harvard President Lawrence Bacow.
The investment builds on the work the pair currently do in this area through the Bloomberg Harvard City Leadership Initiative, which has provided training to hundreds of mayors and their teams globally since 2017. As part of the new investment plans the initiative will be expanded to offer a range of resources for newly appointed mayors.
“This is a major new investment in the people who have enormous and unique powers to attack society’s biggest challenges: mayors. The pandemic has driven home just how important mayors are to the everyday lives of billions of people. They are the most creative and effective problem-solvers in government – and that’s exactly the kind of leadership that the world urgently needs more,” said Michael R. Bloomberg, 108th mayor of New York City and founder of Bloomberg L.P. and Bloomberg Philanthropies. “Building on our partnership with Harvard, this new investment will help more city leaders learn from one another and get even more big things done locally.”
Global Mayors Challenge
Bloomberg Philanthropies’ 2021 Global Mayors Challenge is supporting urban transformation in the aftermath of COVID-19. Open to urban centres worldwide with more than 100,000 residents, the 15 challenge winners will receive $1 million to advance solutions designed to accelerate ideas pioneered by cities in response to COVID-19. The deadline to apply is 21 March.