Scottsdale is certified Gold by Bloomberg Philanthropies What Works Cities

Scottsdale is proud to announce that it has been awarded the Bloomberg Philanthropies What Works Cities Certification at the Gold Level for exceptional use of data to inform policy decisions, allocate funding, improve services, evaluate program effectiveness, and engage residents. What Works Cities Certification sets the standard of excellence for data-informed, well-managed local government.  

“Our community deserves the best from its city government, and this higher level of certification from the What Works Cities program confirms that we are delivering that in Scottsdale,” said Mayor David D. Ortega. “This award recognizes our commitment to maximize valuable data to benefit everyone.”

Scottsdale leveled up from being named on the Honor Roll in 2018, to Silver certification in 2019 and recertification in 2020 and is among an elite group of 62 cities worldwide to have achieved certification. 

Among recent accomplishments, the What Works Cities team spotlighted Scottsdale’s data-driven approach to tackling tough issues with short-term/vacation rental properties. The city’s Short-term Rental Resource Center allows residents to view the license status and understand the impact of short-term rentals in their neighborhoods. The map tool draws on the city’s Data Service Standard (Scottsdale is one of the first cities in the United States to publish one) that guides the city in developing reliable and informative data services and products for its residents and businesses. 

What Works Cities 2023 Certification GraphicOther notable examples include the role of analysis and data in managing Scottsdale’s water resources and managing water policies such as the recently re-launched residential water rebate program, in evaluating and implementing compensation programs to ensure the city remains a competitive employer in critical public safety positions and other areas, and in expanding ways to engage residents through technology such as the new Speak Up Scottsdale platform.

About What Works Cities Certification 

The What Works Cities Certification program, launched in 2017 by Bloomberg Philanthropies ( and led by Results for America (, is the first-of-its-kind standard of excellence for data-informed, well-managed local government. What Works Cities Certification recognizes and celebrates local governments for their exceptional use of data to inform policy decisions, allocate funding, improve services, evaluate the effectiveness of programs and engage residents.

In 2022, What Works Cities Certification released updated criteria for cities to achieve recognition for excellence in using data to improve residents’ lives. The new criteria embed equity priorities and better reflect the evolving best practices of data-informed governance so that cities move beyond achieving only pockets of excellence to achieving citywide scale and maximum resident impact. Read more about the program criteria here.

Since its inception in 2017, 62 cities have achieved What Works Cities Certification. In today’s announcement, Scottsdale joins seven newly Certified cities, six other currently Certified cities which have achieved a higher Certification level and seven cities being re-Certified. A city that achieves 51–67 percent of the 43 criteria is recognized at the Silver level of Certification, and 68–84 percent is required to achieve Gold. 

“Under the new criteria, these cities have shown that they’re not just leading with data—they’re using data to make lives better by prioritizing equity and resident wellbeing,” said Rochelle Haynes, Managing Director of What Works Cities Certification. “Leaders from the seven cities join hundreds of data champions in our Certification community, where they will continue to grow their data practices, share innovative ideas, and inspire communities at all points on their data journey.”

“The Bloomberg Philanthropies What Works Cities Certification continues to raise the bar for policymakers committed to leveraging data to understand community needs and deliver on resident priorities,” said James Anderson, who leads the Government Innovation program at Bloomberg Philanthropies. “We’re proud to welcome these newly Certified cities into this fast-growing international community and see the use — and impact — of the What Works Cities’ standard of excellence expand and improve lives.” 

The What Works Cities Certification program, launched in 2017 by Bloomberg Philanthropies and led by Results for America, is open to any city in North, Central or South America with a population of 30,000 or more. To learn more, visit


Scottsdale What Works Cities 2023 Gold certification

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