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Challenge Timeline

The $9 million global Challenge to help cities move more safely, inclusively, and sustainably. 

Quick Overview

The Sustainable Cities Challenge will be delivered over two stages.

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Stage 1

Call to cities

We were seeking cities who wished to host City Challenges in 2024 - 2025. In November 2023, we announced ten shortlisted cities that received a range of capacity building support to help them understand the issue they wanted to solve and attract innovators to provide solutions. In March 2024 , we selected three of the ten shortlisted cities to host City Challenges to find solutions for local mobility challenges.

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Stage 2

Call to innovators via 3 City Challenges

We have been working with the Host Cities to design local City Challenges to be launched between May and June 2024. Each City Challenge will offer up to $3million in funding to innovators.

Host Cities will open calls for entries from innovators via their City Challenge with the support of the Sustainable Cities Challenge team. Together, they will then select their finalists to test their solutions in 2024-2025.  In 2026, final awards will given to Winners in each Host City to continue to implement and grow their solutions.

Timeline

Please note that dates may be subject to change.  

STAGE 1

OPEN CALL TO CITIES LAUNCHES

21 June 2023

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CITIES ENTER

The Sustainable Cities Challenge was opened to cities that wish to address local mobility issues. Cities that wished to host a local City Challenge needed to complete a short online entry form.

During the open call, there was a range of support available to cities to enter.  

STAGE 1

CITY DEADLINE

18 September 2023

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CITY DEADLINE

Cities that wished to host a local City Challenge needed to complete a short online entry form by 18 September 2023 at 4pm UCT. Cities submitted their entries by this date. 

We were seeking cities where the City Challenges could have a high impact on:  

  • Improving inclusivity in mobility  
  • Improving safety for residents
  • Improving sustainability of mobility systems, reducing carbon emissions and negative environmental impact  

Specifically, we were seeking cities with

  • Mobility issues unsolved through current pathways and processes, but potentially addressed though a range of innovators using different approaches.
  • ​The potential to explore the transferability or scalability of solutions after the City Challenge has ended.  
  • Capacity to partner on delivering City Challenges. This includes evidence of commitment from local government and other relevant stakeholders, alignment with local plans and strategies, and availability of resources such as staff and facilities to support the Challenge, if selected. 
STAGE 1

10 CITIES SHORTLISTED

October 2023

city mobility

CITY SELECTION

Based on the Eligibility and Selection criteria, ten cities were shortlisted. Shortlisted cities were contacted by the Sustainable Cities Challenge team by the end of October 2023.  

10 Shortlisted Cities
STAGE 1

CITY CHALLENGE DEVELOPMENT PERIOD

October – 11th December 2023 

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HOST

  1. Invitation for two representatives to attend a capacity building academy in Dallas, Texas, USA from 13th-15th November 2023. Travel and accommodation costs were covered by the Challenge.  
  2. Follow-up tailored challenge design and problem definition sessions for local teams.  
  3. Communications and PR support to raise awareness of your involvement in the Challenge.  
  4. Access to peer sharing with a cohort of nine other innovative city teams.
STAGE 1

3 CITIES SELECTED

May 2024

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3 CITIES SELECTED TO HOST LOCAL CITY CHALLENGES

Based on the initial entry and the Challenge Proposal, three of the ten shortlisted cities that best met the selection criteria were invited to host City Challenges in 2024-25.

Detroit, Varanasi and Venice have been selected to host City Challenges as part of the Toyota Mobility Foundation’s Sustainable Cities Challenge.

They will each receive the following:

  • $3 million of funding to support innovators to address local mobility issues through a City Challenge.  
  • This includes a $100,000 stipend to support city participation in the Challenge and build staff capacity (where possible and in line with local laws and regulations).  
  • Additional tailored capacity building support on challenge design and delivery, innovation and urban mobility.  
  • Hands-on support from Toyota Mobility Foundation, Challenge Works and World Resources Institute to co-design an open innovation competition that will attract innovators to solve it.  
  • Communications and publicity to raise the profile of the three cities to attract innovators both locally and from across the globe.
Sustainable Cities Challenge Detroit Sustainable Cities Challenge Venice Sustainable Cities Challenge Varanasi
STAGE 1

CHALLENGE ACTIVATION

Early 2024

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CHALLENGE ACTIVATION

Over an intense 12-week period, the three selected host cities will receive a range of support from TMF, WRI and Challenge Works to bring their Challenge Proposals to life.

STAGE 2

3 CITY CHALLENGES LAUNCH

Mid 2024

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THE THREE CITY CHALLENGES WILL BE REVEALED

Selected Host Cities will call on innovators around the world to tackle their local mobility challenges. They will work with the support of the Sustainable Cities Challenge team, and together they will select finalists to test their solutions. Where possible, Challenges will launch by the end of May 2024.

Challenge Themes
STAGE 2

CITY CHALLENGE INNOVATORS DEVELOP SOLUTIONS

Mid 2024 to Mid 2025

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CITY CHALLENGE INNOVATORS DEVELOP SOLUTIONS

Local City Challenges will identify innovators to tailor mobility solutions from Mid-2024 to Mid-2025. Innovators will receive a range of support and funding to accelerate solution development.  

STAGE 2

CITY CHALLENGE WINNERS ANNOUNCED

Mid-Late 2025

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CITY CHALLENGE WINNERS ANNOUNCED

Winners of each of the City Challenges will be selected and announced, each receiving further funding to support the growth and scaling of their solutions.

Learn about the Challenge Themes and how these will be addressed by the shortlisted Cities

Challenge themes
Photographer Noralí Nayla