COVID-19 has changed daily life for people around the world and required that cities do more with fewer resources than ever before. Yet, even in the face of a public-health crisis, social unrest, massive budget shortfalls, and mounting climate disasters, mayors are taking bold steps to tackle their cities’ most pressing challenges.
The 2021 Global Mayors Challenge is the farthest reaching, most ambitious to date. 631 cities from around the world submitted applications earlier this year and, from those, a committee of global experts has selected the 50 most innovative urban solutions to emerge in the wake of COVID-19 to advance in the competition. Of these 50 cities, 15 will win $1 million each—to help them implement their breakthrough ideas and, ultimately, to spread their ideas to other cities around the world.
Who is the program for?
Cities with populations greater than 100,000 residents were invited to apply for the 2021 Global Mayors Challenge. The application period is now closed.
What is a great idea?
The Mayors Challenge has identified the 50 leading urban innovations that were imagined or launched in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. While at different stages of implementation, these ideas all have potential for meaningful impact and the ability to spread to other cities.
What can cities win?
The 2021 Global Mayors Challenge gives 50 champion cities access to world-renowned experts in innovation and data to help them improve upon their ideas. Fifteen grand-prize winners will then receive $1 million each to begin the implementation of their breakthrough ideas.
2021 Champion Cities
Fifty photojournalists—one in each of the Champion Cities—have been assigned to track the projects through the prototyping and testing phase to create a rich photographic archive of this year’s competition.Learn More
More than 600 cities from 99 countries submitted ideas addressing urban challenges that emerged in the wake of COVID-19.Read More