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What Works Cities Program Adds 12 New Cities

Bloomberg Philanthropies data initiative What Works Cities announces its next 12 cities along with an urban innovation toolkit.

Bloomberg Philanthropies has released the names of the next 12 cities to take part in its What Works Cities initiative (WWC), a $42 million program supporting data-driven strategies and services for residents.

Bloomberg launched the program last year as way to scale the organization's urban innovation expertise to cities across the nation. The program serves municipalities by supplying them with a team of data and policy specialists to assess data usage and chart new areas for growth. James Anderson, the head of Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Government Innovation program, is leading the effort that aspires to serve more than 100 mid-sized cities by 2018. Currently the municipal membership totals 39 cities in 25 states.

The end goal is to develop a lasting innovation network strong enough for fellow city leaders to share best practices and digital tools. 

“These city leaders are committed to utilizing data to make better decisions, engage residents and hold themselves accountable,” Anderson said in a release. “Bloomberg Philanthropies is excited to support these cities and help them to achieve their ambitions.”

This is the list of new cities:

1. Baltimore
2. Buffalo, N.Y.
3. Cape Coral, Fla.
4. Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
5. Greensboro, N.C.
6. Gresham, Ore.
7. Kansas City, Kan.
8. Topeka, Kan.
9. Wichita, Kan.
10. Naperville, Ill.
11. Providence, R.I.
12. Scottsdale, Ariz.

With the news, Bloomberg simultaneously released a new digital toolkit to instruct mayors, CIOs and other city officials on an array of topics. The kit includes tips for drafting open data policies, strategies for using open data for decision-making, and playbooks cities can harness for community engagement, talent acquisition and more. Other features are videos, case studies and adaptable templates for civic solutions.

Jason Shueh is a former staff writer for Government Technology magazine.