What it's about:
The former mayor of New York, Michael Bloomberg, pledged last week to invest $42 million in What Works Cities, an initiative that helps U.S. cities use data to tackle pressing issues such as safety and homelessness.
The major investment from Bloomberg Philanthropies will expand the existing programme to every U.S. city with over 30,000 residents, an article by Cities Today reports.
In an open letter, Bloomberg said Washington’s “direct assault on facts and data is making it harder for America to address major challenges here and around the world”, citing President Donald Trump’s frequent rebukes against the media and scientific evidence.
Bloomberg stressed that a “counter assault is underway in both red and blue states”, with mayors harnessing the power of data to improve their cities and life for their residents.
Why it's noteworthy:
Bloomberg’s investment highlights the growing importance of smart data in urban governance.
In a Zilient webinar in May, experts discussed how data can help governments meet the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030, including Goal 11 which aims to make cities safe, sustainable and resilient.
New York is at the forefront of cities using data and smart technology to improve efficiency and quality of life. The city has successfully introduced smart buses fitted with GPS sensors that can send real-time signals to traffic lights, leading to a 20 percent reduction in commuter times.
At the United Nations High Level Political Forum in July, New York will be the first city to report on its progress towards achieving the SDGs. It will present data that shows what has been done to lift 800,000 residents out of poverty and address the impacts of climate change.
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