As cities grow and evolve, so does the challenge of moving people and goods in reliable, efficient and inclusive ways. By expanding sustainable transport options, cities can meet the challenge head-on — increasing access to jobs, education and essential services, all while reducing greenhouse gas emissions and helping fight the climate crisis.

However, funding for innovative low-carbon solutions often falls short. The UN has identified a staggering $2.5-trillion investment gap as the biggest hurdle to meeting the Sustainable Development Goals, including in the transportation sector.

Amidst this landscape, cities have a unique opportunity to help drive change. City officials, working together with the private sector, can collectively address the funding gap in transport by seeding targeted, transformative mobility solutions — such as cashless ride-hailing and safer electric bikeshare — that bring social, economic and environmental benefits to their communities.

About the Sustainable Cities Challenge

The $9-million Sustainable Cities Challenge is led by Toyota Mobility Foundation in partnership with Challenge Works and WRI. It brings cities and innovators together to implement sustainable mobility solutions that reduce carbon emissions; improve accessibility, safety and affordability of transport systems; and utilize data to improve transport operations and communications for residents, especially those who are underserved.

The Sustainable Cities Challenge is a two-stage initiative. In the first stage, 10 shortlisted cities will receive a range of capacity building support to define mobility challenges in their regions and begin mapping potential solutions. Three of these cities will be selected to host City Challenges in 2024 and access up to $3 million each to disperse to private sector innovators that apply to their Challenges.

How to Get Involved

Entry to the first stage of the Challenge is now open to city leaders and municipal governments, transport departments, and other related local and regional agencies. Entries should address one or more of the following themes:

  • Expanding access to safe, affordable, and inclusive modes of transportation.
  • Harnessing the power of data to create connected and resilient mobility ecosystems.
  • Reducing environmental impact through low-carbon and renewable energy solutions.

Review application details and requirements here.

Shortlisted cities will be invited to attend a capacity building academy and will receive support developing their City Challenge designs, becoming part of a wider network of other innovative city teams.

In February 2024, three winning cities will be selected to host City Challenges designed to attract proposals from private sector innovators. Innovators can be homegrown — living in the city or country chosen — or from anywhere across the globe. But their solutions must be applicable to the host city. The winning innovators from each City Challenge will be announced in late 2024, with $9 million in funding distributed amongst them to build staff capacity, test and roll out their solutions.