Fourth cycle of premier urban prize will recognize projects advancing ambitious, replicable ideas for improving our cities and addressing climate change 

WASHINGTON, DC (June 26, 2023) — Today, World Resources Institute (WRI) Ross Center for Sustainable Cities launched the fourth cycle of the WRI Ross Center Prize for Cities, a global competition celebrating and spotlighting transformative urban change. 

With the window for climate action rapidly closing this decade, the theme for this cycle is “Accelerating Momentum for Climate-Ready Communities.” WRI is seeking initiatives that address the magnitude of climate challenges by increasing the speed, scope and scale of action to create climate-ready cities. Applications are now being accepted for the Prize for Cities, which will showcase exemplary urban projects and award $250,000 to one winner and $25,000 to four runners-up each. 

“Cities are on the frontlines of the climate crisis and have an outsized role in securing a safe, resilient future for billions of people around the world,” said Ani Dasgupta, President & CEO of WRI. “As climate impacts become more regular and extreme, the Prize for Cities is looking to spotlight innovators responding to difficult challenges with faster, bigger, and deeper solutions that others can bring home to their own communities.”    

The Prize committee is looking for projects that are helping to create vibrant, climate-ready communities by bringing people together and working to make a difference. Projects could potentially range from climate-resilient infrastructure to zero-carbon buildings to disaster preparedness training and beyond if they are replicable and scalable.  All organizations and individuals from public, private and not-for-profit sectors are encouraged to apply here by September 26, 2023. 

“The Prize is a barometer of what is happening in the urban space and sets a very high bar by looking for projects that not only impact local communities but spark changes well beyond the level of the city. It encourages bold thinking and uncovers and celebrates the ripple effects that define the top projects,” said Rogier van den Berg, Global Director for WRI Ross Center.   

The 2021-2022 grand prize winner Todos al Parque began as an inclusive green space project that grew to revitalize the city’s employment, public health and local economy. Previous grand prize winners have demonstrated the vision, coalition-building and perseverance essential to achieving sustained change.  

The 2020-2021 grand prize was awarded to Sustainable Food Production for a Resilient Rosario, a far-reaching urban agriculture program from the municipality of Rosario, Argentina. In 2019, the inaugural grand prize was awarded to School Area Road Safety and Improvements (SARSAI), a program by the non-profit Amend, for its highly impactful and replicable approach to creating safer journeys to school for children in Dar es Salaam and other African cities. 

Five finalists will be selected by a multi-disciplinary evaluation team from across the WRI Ross Center global network. Criteria include the extent to which submissions demonstrate innovative ideas and novel approaches; impact on people’s lives, and those of the communities they live in; and impact on institutions within and beyond the city.  

A distinguished and independent jury of urban leaders and experts will select one grand prize winner and four runners-up, to be announced in fall 2024. 

To learn more about the WRI Ross Prize for Cities and explore previous winners, visit

About World Resources Institute  

World Resources Institute (WRI) is a global research organization with offices in Brazil, China, Colombia, India, Indonesia, Mexico and the United States, and regional offices for Africa and Europe. Our over 1,700 staff work with partners to develop practical solutions that improve people’s lives and ensure nature can thrive. Learn more: and on Twitter @WorldResources

About WRI Ross Center for Sustainable Cities 

WRI Ross Center for Sustainable Cities is World Resources Institute’s program dedicated to shaping a future where cities work better for everyone. It enables more connected, compact and coordinated cities. The Center expands the transport and urban development expertise of the EMBARQ network to catalyze innovative solutions in other sectors, including air quality, water, buildings, land use and energy. It combines the research excellence of WRI with two decades of on-the-ground impact through a network of more than 370 experts working from Brazil, China, Colombia, Ethiopia, India, Mexico, Turkey and the United States to make cities around the world better places to live. More information at