Arlington Joins National What Works Cities Initiative

The City of Arlington is one of five cities selected today to join the national What Works Cities initiative.

Launched by Bloomberg Philanthropies in April 2015, What Works Cities is the largest philanthropic effort to improve the effectiveness of local governments by enhancing the use of data and evidence. With today’s new cities, the initiative is now partnering with 85 U.S. cities that are home to more than 27 million people in 37 states and have annual budgets exceeding $94 billion.

“Across the country, cities of all shapes and sizes are producing better results for their residents by identifying and investing in what works,” said What Works Cities Executive Director Simone Brody. “Cities are increasingly showing themselves as the country’s drivers of progress, and we’re thrilled to welcome these new cities to this growing movement.”

Through technical assistance from What Works Cities’ expert partners, participating cities are developing data-driven tools to best determine priorities, drive progress toward them, allocate resources, and tackle their toughest challenges – from homelessness to public safety and economic development. Cities are also fostering trust with their communities through greater transparency around city data in efforts to increase collaboration toward developing solutions.

The City of Arlington will upgrade its ability to manage and open data as part of a larger city priority to become more efficient, grow the local economy, and increase transparency by embracing new technologies.

“The City is committed to leveraging data-driven decision making in order to improve internal efficiencies, analyze current and future needs and opportunities, and increase transparency for Arlington’s citizens and business community,” Management Resources Director Jennifer Wichmann said. “Improved understanding yields increased opportunity for accurate and responsive allocation of service for all City needs. We look forward to working with our What Works Cities partners!”

Charleston, S.C.; Fort Collins, CO; Memphis, TN; and Sioux Falls, SD were also selected to join the initiative on Wednesday. Examples of how participating cities have been applying such strategies to improve their residents’ lives can be found in a new report What Works Cities released last month.

Participating cities are also leveraging What Works Cities’ extensive learning network of local leaders and global experts actively sharing best practices for outcomes-focused government. Cities are replicating each other’s successes and learning from each other’s challenges. What Works Cities is expanding that network with the launch of its new certification program earlier this year. The program, which is open to any city with a population over 30,000 people, sets the first-ever national standard for data-driven local government and serves as a roadmap to advance the practices of all cities.

 

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