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Cities of Service is a nonprofit organization that helps mayors build stronger cities by changing the way local government and citizens work together. We help coalition cities tap into the knowledge, creativity, and service of their citizens to help identify and solve critical public problems. Cities of Service supports a coalition of more than 280 cities, representing over 84 million people across the Americas and Europe.

Cities of Service defines a citizen as a person who lives or works in the city and is an integral part of their community, regardless of legal status.

With a data-driven focus on creating measurable results, Cities of Service provides counsel, expert technical assistance, and proven resources to city leaders and their staff. We bring coalition members together to share best practices, expand networks, and deepen relationships. We also design and manage competitive grant programs for cities that leverage our expertise in advising and connecting cities.

Citizens can help plant trees or clean up a blighted property in their neighborhood. They can also do much more, including contributing ideas to help solve river flooding, leading community groups to maintain stewardship of public spaces, and providing feedback to improve existing city programs and services.

Our Philosophy

  • Local government works better when it is open to the ideas and talents of citizens and starts with the assumption that citizen collaboration is a force for good.
  • Citizens have deep expertise in their own lives and in what’s best for their families and communities – and their expertise can be leveraged to deliver better services and solve public problems.
  • Citizen contributions can take many forms, from defining and prioritizing problems to generating ideas to volunteering their time, creativity, and expertise.

Founded in 2009 by New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, and incubated at Bloomberg Philanthropies, Cities of Service became an independent organization in 2014 to meet increasing demand from cities for its services.

Cities of Service is part of Bloomberg Philanthropies’ American Cities Initiative, an expansion of Mike Bloomberg’s support for U.S. cities at a time when they face steep challenges, and when the nation needs them to power solutions that move the country forward. The Initiative includes new investments and an expanded pledge to existing programs, including Mayors Challenge, Bloomberg Aspen Initiative on Cities and Autonomous Vehicles, Bloomberg Harvard City Leadership Initiative, What Works Cities, Financial Empowerment Centers, CityLab, and Innovation Teams.