Commonwealth Local Government Forum

Bloomberg Philanthropies' Mayors Challenge

29 January 2021


By 2050, an additional 2.5 billion people will be living in the world’s towns and cities, with almost 50% of that growth taking place in the Commonwealth. As such, sustainable urbanisation has become one of CLGF’s key priorities. The Bloomberg Global City Challenge 2021 represents an excellent opportunity to support innovation in transforming cities to meet the challenges of urbanisation, and all the more in the current context of the global pandemic. CLGF is partnering with Bloomberg Philanthropies to reach out to its member and encourage then to make an application. 


Read more in the Bloomberg Mayors' Challenge leaflet.


The challenge is a global innovation competition to elevate leaders and their bold transformative ideas. Looking to support innovative ideas coming out of city’s responses to the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic, the challenges is calling for proposals focus on one or more of the following themes: 

  • Health and wellbeing 
  • Climate and environment 
  • Economic recovery and inclusive growth
  • Good governance and equality

This initiative welcomes applications from cities with populations greater than 100,000. This year’s Challenge is designed to provide more support, and award more winners than ever before, with: 

  • 50 Champion Cities that will gain access to world-renowned experts in innovation and dedicated funding to test and refine their ideas
  • 15 Grand Prize-Winners who will receive $1 million each to implement their transformative idea

There are two parts to the application process: first, a council must register its interest in participating (RSVP) and, secondly, submit a project proposal through an online application. 


RSVP as soon as possible to reserve a place. Simply visit the Mayors Challenge website and click apply now link.  It is important to nominate a trusted primary point of contact to manage communications with the 2021 Global Mayors Challenge team (e.g., a Deputy Mayor, Chief of Innovation), and the team will send additional instructions for the application at that point. 


The final deadline for the submission of proposals is 21 March 2021. 


Help is available for applications via an application workshop: a three-hour, facilitated virtual coaching session, which focuses on improving a city's ability to think through a problem and strengthen its application. The first 500 cities to apply through the website will receive help.


This is an excellent opportunity to help your city recover from the pandemic and grow.


More information can be found on the website and specific questions, or you can email CLGF or the Bloomberg City Challenge.   


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CLGF SG moving on after five years

  CLGF Secretary-General of the Commonwealth Local Government Forum Dr Greg Munro is leaving the organisation to take up the position of Director of Cities Alliance.

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