Bloomberg Philanthropies, the creator of the What Works Cities Initiative, has announced seven cities that are fully certified through the program for 2019. What Works Cities Certification rates how well cities are managed by measuring the extent to which city leaders incorporate data and evidence in their decision-making.
The certification program launched in April 2017, and U.S. cities with populations of 30,000 and higher are eligible to participate. Cities are awarded silver, gold, or platinum Certification depending on their level of data sophistication.
This year, the certification recognizes Arlington, TX; Kansas City, MO; Louisville, KY; Memphis, TN; Philadelphia, PA; Scottsdale, AZ; and Washington, DC.
Three cities – Kansas City, MO; Louisville, KY; and Washington, DC – achieved certification at the gold level, moving up from silver in 2018.
Bloomberg Philanthropies cited Kansas City’s passage of a new law requiring the local government use data in decision-making. This ensures that data-driven progress will continue, even as the city prepares for a mayoral transition. In Louisville, the city has built a platform that analyzes data to improve traffic conditions and road safety and has now opened up this technology so that it is free for any city to use. And, in Washington DC, the city is using its nationally recognized Lab @ DC to improve service delivery on a number of critical programs, from its dockless bikeshare system to the delivery of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families.
Four cities – Arlington, TX; Memphis, TN; Philadelphia, PA; and Scottsdale, AZ were newly certified at the silver level. These cities stood out for their incorporation of a wide range of data best practices as well as the adoption of new policies that will embed data-driven decision making into government service delivery.
“These well-managed cities are better solving the problems facing their communities and addressing residents’ needs. They are stretching every dollar by using data to set priorities, budget effectively, and ensure investments are yielding desired results. They are also putting data at the core of their efforts to prepare for future challenges,” said Simone Brody, Executive Director of What Works Cities.