Bloomberg funds city programs to build new urban solutions

Bloomberg Philanthropies is supporting the innovative solutions of 15 cities to try to get others to use them as blueprints to battle the world’s urban problems. The winners of this year’s Global Mayors Challenge, announced last Tuesday, span 13 nations and will make their solutions available to cities worldwide to replicate. They will each receive USD1 million and technical support from the philanthropic organization of former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg to help develop and expand their programs.

They range from using technology to support tree maintenance in Sierra Leone to creating new farm models in the Philippines and addressing the opioid crisis in New Jersey through a public-private partnership that quickly delivers medication to reverse opioid overdoses.

“As the world works to address the profound public health and economic effects of the ongoing pandemic, cities can implement innovative ideas at a pace that national governments simply can’t match,” Bloomberg, the billionaire founder of Bloomberg Philanthropies and Bloomberg LP, said in a statement. “Our 15 winners offer bold, achievable plans to improve health, reduce unemployment, empower women, and more.”

The winning program in Turkey was inspired by the tradition of askıda ekmek, which dates to the Ottoman Empire and translates to “bread on the hook”, Istanbul Mayor Ekrem Imamoglu said. Some customers would pay for extra bread that bakers would put “on the hook” to let people know it was available to those who could not afford it.

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