Glasgow is one of 50 Champion Cities selected as finalists in the 2021 Global Mayors Challenge, a global innovation competition that identifies and accelerates the most ambitious ideas developed by cities in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. These 50 urban innovations rose to the top of a competitive pool of more than 630 applications from 99 countries, in the first-ever Global Mayors Challenge.

As a Mayors Challenge finalist, Glasgow now advances to the four-month Champion Phase of the competition. From June until October, the 50 finalist cities will refine their ideas with technical assistance from Bloomberg Philanthropies and its network of leading innovation experts. 15 of the 50 cities will ultimately win the grand prize, with each receiving $1 million and robust multi-year technical assistance to implement and scale their ideas. Grand Prize Winners will be announced in early 2022.

“These 50 finalists are showing the world that in the face of the pandemic’s enormous challenges, cities are rising to meet them with bold, innovative, and ambitious ideas,” said Michael R. Bloomberg, founder of Bloomberg LP and Bloomberg Philanthropies and 108th mayor of New York City. “By helping these cities test their ideas over the coming months, we will have a chance to identify cutting-edge policies and programs that can allow cities to rebuild in ways that make them stronger and healthier, and more equal and more just.”

More details on the proposals from Glasgow and other cities can be found at:

Councillor Susan Aitken, Leader of Glasgow City Council, said: “Glasgow’s selection as one of the world’s 50 Champion Cities is a huge accolade, recognising our growing international reputation as a city of genuine innovation and inclusion. We’re harnessing that innovation to respond to the challenges of our past, to address ingrained inequalities and injustices, and to build a healthier, more sustainable, and empowered future for our citizens.

“Covid and climate are the issues of our times, but the solutions must be found with our citizens and for our citizens. Our project involves our people in the social design of their communities to ensure their needs and well-being are front and centre of our recovery from the pandemic and transition to a new, green economy. Our selection in the 2021 Global Mayors Challenge can give us a platform to accelerate putting into action those solutions and build better lives and communities for all Glaswegians.”

The 50 Champion Cities submitted ideas addressing four of the most significant challenges borne of the pandemic: Economic Recovery & Inclusive Growth; Health & Wellbeing; Climate & Environment; and Good Governance & Equality. A prestigious selection committee co-chaired by Bloomberg Philanthropies board member Mellody Hobson, Co-CEO & President, Ariel Investments, and David Miliband, President & CEO, International Rescue Committee, assessed the applications to determine the Champion City finalists.

“This is always an especially exciting phase of the Mayors Challenge, helping mayors push their innovations to even greater heights,” said James Anderson, head of Government Innovation at Bloomberg Philanthropies. “While 15 cities will ultimately take home grand prizes, all 50 cities receive world class coaching and support to improve their ideas and their potential to improve lives.”

The 2021 Global Mayors Challenge builds on the success of four previous Bloomberg-sponsored Challenges in the U.S. (2013 and 2018), Europe (2014), and Latin America and the Caribbean (2016). For more information, visit and @BloombergCities on Twitter and Instagram.