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Los Angeles was the first city to achieve What Works Cities Certification at the gold level

Cities of all shapes and sizes are doubling down on their commitment to deliver the best possible results for residents by using What Works Cities Certification as a guide to accelerate their progress. A national standard of excellence in city governance, Certification evaluates how well cities are managed by measuring the extent to which leaders incorporate data and evidence in decision-making. The program is open to any U.S. city with a population of 30,000 or more. 

Over 100 cities have completed a What Works Cities Assessment to have their practices benchmarked against Certification’s national standard and to understand how to improve. While top-performing cities go on to receive our Certification award, the Certification program is for all cities looking to accelerate their progress. Completing an Assessment makes cities eligible to receive a range of exclusive support—from learning and networking opportunities to technical assistance engagements—from our expert partners.

Get started on your Assessment today!

Have questions? Reach out to our Certification team at