Bloomberg Philanthropies announced yesterday, June 15, the “50 Champion Cities” that will be included in the finalist stage of the 2021 Global Mayors Challenge, a competition that pushes different cities to come up with innovative ideas.
This year’s challenge focuses on combating the COVID-19 pandemic by proposing fresh ideas for the betterment of the cities.
Among the 50 Cities that were chosen by Bloomberg Philanthropies are Manila and Butuan, Philippines.
Manila was chosen because of its promise to build 21st-century infrastructure, buildings to improve the city. The city will implement a “Go Manila” proposal that focuses on suiting new policies, processes, and digital platforms to build a modern data infrastructure that concerns the city’s 460-year history.
When Mayor Francisco “Isko” Domagoso was elected, he said that the three pillars of his office would be infrastructure development, attracting business, and urban housing.
In 2019, he also mentioned how to convert Manila into a “smart city,” which focuses on the welfare of the Filipinos residing in Manila. “Smart city is how I can make your life easier as a citizen, (putting in) technology, study, infrastructure, human development. Smart in such a way you address every sector of the society, you accept that there is a problem and you address it,” he said in an interview.
The second city in the Philippines chosen in 50 Champion Cities is Butuan in Mindanao.
Due to the city’s problem of local food production, Butuan now prioritizes the agricultural market by giving local farmers predictive data to help them decide on which crops to plant and to fix the commodity prices to prevent risks that lead to high-demand foods.
This has resulted in an increase of vegetable production and in the incomes of local farmers.
In 2020, the Department of Agriculture (DA)-Caraga in partnership with the City Agriculture Office of Butuan also highlighted urban agriculture to lessen the impact of COVID-19.
DA-Caraga Supervising Agriculturist Melody Guimary said that unavailability of wide vacant lots should not be a hindrance when it comes to food production initiatives. “With urban agriculture, we only need a little space, or we can make use of empty containers to plant on so there is no excuse that one cannot plant.”
The Champion Cities listed by the Bloomberg Philanthropies are the following:
Akron, Amman, Auckland, Baltimore, Bilbao, Birmingham, Bogota, Butuan, Cape Town, Cartagena, Columbus, Danane, Daegu, Durham, Freetown, Glasgow, Guadalajara, Hermosillo, Istanbul, Kigali, Kumasi, La Paz, Lansing, Leuven, London, Long Beach, Louisville, Lusaka, Manila, Meru, New Orleans, Newark, Paris, Paterson, Phoenix, Pune, Recife, Renca, Rio de Janeiro, Rochester, Rosario, Rotterdam, Rourkela. San Jose, Taipei, Tel Aviv-Yafo, Tunja, Umuaka, Vilnius, Wellington.