Bloomberg Philanthropies’ What Works Cities (WWC) initiative added five new partner cities: Athens, Ga.; Chula Vista, Calif.; Colorado Springs; Gainesville, Fla.; and Palmdale, Calif.

With the new additions WWC is now partnering with 95 cities across the country. The WWC initiative is working to improve the effectiveness of local governments by enhancing their use of data and evidence. In total, the partner cities are home to more than 29 million people in 37 states and have annual budgets exceeding $98 billion. The news was announced by Result for America, which manages the initiative for Bloomberg Philanthropies.

“Moving the needle on city challenges requires knowing what to measure and how–then acting on what you find,” said Simone Brody, executive director of WWC at Results for America. “By teaching cities how to put data at the core of their decision-making, we’re equipping them with the tools to best solve local challenges and serve their communities.”

With its partners, WWC helps cities develop and enhance their data-driven skills in performance analytics, data management, randomized control trials, and results-driven contracting. The goal is to empower cities with the skills they need to improve their ongoing problem-solving and decision-making processes.

Planned projects in the five new cities include:

  • Athens will use performance analytics to measure and communicate progress on economic prosperity goals.
  • Chula Vista will use data to improve public safety outcomes, and increase transparency by sharing key public safety data with residents.
  • Colorado Springs will use performance analytics to measure progress on its strategic plan goals, beginning with local infrastructure investments. The city will also develop an open data policy and explore opportunities for residents to use municipal data.
  • Gainesville will apply best practices in data management and performance analytics toward transportation and business life cycle improvements, part of a partnership announced earlier this year with the University of Florida that aims to transform Gainesville into a “new American city.”
  • Palmdale, Calif., will use data to further its recreation and culture goals, and create an open data policy to target sharing data with the public.

The addition of the new cities also means that Bloomberg Philanthropies is closing in on its goal to partner with 100 midsized cities by 2018.

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Kate Polit
Kate Polit
Kate Polit is MeriTalk SLG's Assistant Copy & Production Editor, covering Cybersecurity, Education, Homeland Security, Veterans Affairs