Tulsa is one of only three cities in the world to be named a winner of the Engaged Cities Award, part of a philanthropic program underwritten by three-term mayor of New York City Michael Bloomberg.
Bologna, Italy and Santiago de Cali, Colombia were the other two winners.
The award recognizes cities that are "working creatively to tape the wisdom, talents and energy of community members to solve public problems. The winning cities are combining bold mayoral leadership and the reach of city hall with the on-the-ground knowledge of citizens to address serious challenges. These cities are also using strategies such as civic tech, sophisticated data analysis, and impact volunteering to address pressing local issues," the Bloomberg Philanthropies website states.
Tulsa was recognized for the Urban Data Pioneers program created by Mayor G.T. Bynum's office, a city news release states. Over 120 people in the community and city workers participated in the program that uses data to help with public issues like prioritizing street repairs and collecting data on blight.
“At the City of Tulsa we believe the use of data and technology can bring people together to solve our greatest challenges, and we are incredibly honored to be recognized as a Cities of Service Engaged Cities award winner,” Mayor G.T. Bynum said.
“At a time of so much division nationally and internationally, cities around the world are empowering local residents to build better communities – and this award is recognition that Tulsa is leading the way.”
Tulsa and the other two cities also received a $70,000 award. Tulsa plans to use the funding to launch the Civic Innovation Fellowship that will continue to engage citizens in solving problems and to expand the Urban Data Pioneers program by training employees and residents in data analysis skills, a news release states.
“Tulsa has shown that humility is a key part of true leadership. When a mayor and his staff reach out to their people for help, together they can move the city forward faster and more effectively,” said Myung J. Lee, Cities of Service Executive Director.
“Rather than worrying about job titles and getting held up by bureaucracy, they came together with their citizens to investigate the data to make the city work better.”