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Tempe achieves gold level What Works Cities certification

Tempe recognized nationally for being one of the best American cities at using data and evidence to respond effectively to local challenges

Post Date:07/06/2020 3:00 PM
July 6, 2020

Tempe, AZ -- Tempe is proud to share it has been recognized for achieving 2020 What Works Cities Certification at the gold level.

What Works Cities (WWC) certification evaluates how effectively cities are managed by measuring the extent to which city leaders incorporate data and evidence in their decision-making -- whether they have the right people, processes, and policies in place to put data and evidence at the center of decision-making -- against a national standard of excellence. WWC is a national initiative launched by Bloomberg Philanthropies in 2015.

Tempe is one of only eight cities in the U.S. and the only Arizona city to achieve certification at the gold level. In 2016, Tempe began the cultural transformation of using data to inform strategic policies and operational decisions. During the yearlong certification assessment, the city demonstrated measurable advancements on foundational data practices, representing Tempe’s commitment to advancing how the use of data improves services for residents.

“This certification solidifies Tempe’s commitment to being open, transparent and data-informed with our policies and decisions,” Tempe Mayor Corey Woods said. “This gold certification exemplifies Tempe’s understanding of the importance of using data and evidence to improve quality of life and build trust with the community.”

Tempe’s strategic priorities and data have focused the city’s efforts on nearly 100 different performance measures, including fire department response times, pavement quality, graffiti removal, sustainability, financial health and human services. To learn more about Tempe’s performance measures and to explore data, visit

“Pursuit of this certification helped to create a framework that will sustain our data-driven culture,” Tempe City Manager Andrew Ching said. “This, in turn, can save taxpayer dollars.”

An example of those savings might be found in the pavement quality index. By measuring their quality, streets can receive maintenance before they get into a state of disrepair that costs substantially more to fix.

What Works Cities certification is inspiring a movement of cities that are doubling down on their commitment to building a more effective, more efficient, and more equitable local government that works for its residents and using certification as a roadmap for doing so. Nearly 200 U.S. cities have completed a What Works Cities assessment; to date, only 24 cities have met the What Works Cities national standard in achieving certification.

About What Works Cities:
What Work Cities, launched by Bloomberg Philanthropies in April 2015, is a national initiative that helps cities use data and evidence more effectively to tackle their most pressing challenges and improve residents’ lives. It is one of the largest-ever philanthropic efforts to enhance cities’ use of data and evidence. Through the initiative’s expert partners, cities around the country are receiving technical assistance, guidance and resources to succeed in making more informed decisions, tackling local challenges, and delivering more effective services and programs for their residents. Cities in the What Works Cities network also gain access to a collaborative network of peers in cities across the country. For more information, visit
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