What Works Cities, a new $42 million initiative, will help cities use data to improve performance and policy.
In San Francisco, foodies seeking adventure (but not food poisoning) can see health inspection scores along with reviews while browsing for restaurants on Yelp.
In Louisville, Kentucky, asthma patients can sign up for “smart inhalers” to help the city map where asthma attacks are most common, discover the triggers and shift policies for cleaner air.
And in New Orleans, city residents can visit a site called BlightStatus to track blighted properties in their neighborhood and look for property code violations.
Across the country, efforts like these are awakening cities to the potential of open data as a way to transform citizens’ experiences with government and to improve both policymaking and performance. Seizing on this momentum, Bloomberg Philanthropies recently launched a $42 million initiative – What Works Cities – to help 100 mid-size cities get better government through data. Already, more than 100 cities have applied.