As the world reaches critical milestones for the Paris Agreement, cities need concrete ways to translate global goals into local action. At the same time, cities are being asked to balance climate and sustainable development goals with the need for economic development.

The 2020-2021 WRI Ross Center Prize for Cities invited submissions on the theme of “inclusive cities for a changing climate.” We asked changemakers around the world to submit projects and initiatives that show how to live and thrive in a changing world by tackling both the climate crisis and urban inequality together.

Submissions to the 2020-2021 Prize for Cities closed on July 7, 2020, and we received unprecedented interest. In all, we received 250+ submissions from 150+ cities and 50+ countries in 6 languages. The extraordinary interest in this year’s theme makes it clear that transformative solutions for an inclusive and resilient urban future is a shared goal across the globe, especially during the current crisis.

The Prize for Cities is the premier global award celebrating and spotlighting transformative urban change. The Prize was presented for the first time in April 2019 to SARSAI, a road safety project by the NGO Amend. SARSAI was selected by a world-class jury from among 193 submissions for its demonstrated impact on road safety around especially dangerous school areas in nine African countries. 

Prize for Cities winners and finalists help cities understand that transformative change is possible. They apply big ideas to critical urban problems, demonstrate life-changing impact, and have ripple effects on institutions, the wider city, and beyond.

Next, with the help of a multi-disciplinary team of experts, we will begin the detailed work of evaluating submissions. A shortlist of finalists will be announced by the end of the year. Our independent jury will then award the grand prize of $250,000 to one winner and $25,000 each to four runners-up in 2021.

Stay tuned for updates on our website and find out more about this year’s theme.