Results for America Once Again Awards City of Arlington with Bloomberg Philanthropies What Works City Certification at the Gold Level for Exceptional Use of Data
By Office of Communications
Posted on June 21, 2023, June 21, 2023

The City of Arlington has received the 2023 What Works Cities certfication at the Gold Level.

The City of Arlington is proud to announce that it has once again been awarded the Bloomberg Philanthropies What Works Cities Certification at the Gold level for exceptional use of data to inform policy decisions, allocate funding, improve services, evaluate program effectiveness and engage residents. What Works Cities Certification sets the standard of excellence for data-informed, well-managed local government.

“We work to make sure that the investments that the public is making in Arlington—in programs, services and infrastructure—are driven by data and information and that we can demonstrate why the choices were made,” City Manager Trey Yelverton said. “The fact that once again we are being recognized by Results for America and Bloomberg Philanthropies as being one of the best data-driven cities in the country is a validation of the City Council’s and the city staff’s thoughtful decision making.”

In 2022, What Works Cities Certification released updated criteria for cities to achieve recognition for excellence in using data to improve residents’ lives. The new criteria embed equity priorities and better reflect the evolving best practices of data-informed governance so that cities move beyond achieving only pockets of excellence to achieving citywide scale and maximum resident impact.

Additionally, Certification is now requiring cities to show that they meet an internationally recognized standard on at least one of three outcomes: air pollution, the percentage of households with high-speed broadband subscriptions, or a high-priority outcome the city chooses that aligns with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UNSDGs). Click here to read more.

Since its inception in 2017, 62 cities have achieved What Works Cities Certification. A city that achieves 51–67 percent of the 43 criteria is recognized at the Silver level of Certification, and 68–84 percent is required to achieve Gold. Arlington first achieved Gold certification in 2020, following Silver certification in 2019.

Some of the City of Arlington’s recent data quality improvements and innovations include:

  • In November 2022, Arlington became the first city in the United States to publish a Data Service Standard, which is designed to ensure all City data is transparent, accessible to all, user friendly, and can be used to solve real-world problems in our community. The Data Service Standard builds upon the Open Data Policy and is published on the City’s Open Data Portal.
  • The City also enhanced its Open Data Portal, which now includes nearly 50 downloadable datasets and 13 interactive web maps and applications, to include new user-friendly categories, step-by-step guides on accessing and interacting with datasets, and a survey for users to input their own ideas for inclusion. Portal visitors can explore data related to a variety of topics, including transportation, environmental issues, neighborhood amenities and public art, and some of the socioeconomic characteristics of our community.
  • After five years of gathering ridership data, the City transitioned its on-demand, rideshare public transportation service from pilot program status to a traditional city service. Arlington also expanded the service, already available citywide and with a connection to the TRE Centreport Station, to include a section of far east Fort Worth so riders could connect with the Trinity Metro bus line. Based on surveys, nearly 90% of riders make less than the City’s median household income of $50,000, and many riders report using the service as an alternative to private car ownership. With the transportation service in place, residents can now affordably access almost 50% more of the city’s jobs, hospitals, and schools within 30 minutes than they could prior to the launch of the service in 2017. Arlington’s rideshare service is expected to hit the 2 million rides milestone this month.
  • Facing thousands of calls for service that involve behavioral health or mental health issues but no criminal offenses, the Arlington Police Department is in the process of adding four more Behavioral Health Response police officers and four more crisis intervention specialists. The department’s Behavioral Health Law Enforcement Unit, which currently has a sergeant, four specially trained Behavioral Health Response police officers, four crisis intervention specialists, a community outreach officer and an intel and threat assessment officer, has specialized training to deescalate potentially volatile situations and help connect individuals in crisis with appropriate resources for help and support.

“Under the new criteria, these cities have shown that they’re not just leading with data—they’re using data to make lives better by prioritizing equity and resident wellbeing,” said Rochelle Haynes, Managing Director of What Works Cities Certification. “Leaders from the seven cities join hundreds of data champions in our Certification community, where they will continue to grow their data practices, share innovative ideas, and inspire communities at all points on their data journey.”

“The Bloomberg Philanthropies What Works Cities Certification continues to raise the bar for policymakers committed to leveraging data to understand community needs and deliver on resident priorities,” said James Anderson, who leads the Government Innovation program at Bloomberg Philanthropies.

“We’re proud to welcome these newly Certified cities into this fast-growing international community and see the use — and impact — of the What Works Cities’ standard of excellence expand and improve lives.”

The What Works Cities Certification program, launched in 2017 by Bloomberg Philanthropies and led by Results for America, is open to any city in North, Central or South America with a population of 30,000 or more. To learn more, visit

About What Works Cities Certification:

The What Works Cities Certification program, launched in 2017 by Bloomberg Philanthropies ( and led by Results for America (, is the first-of-its-kind standard of excellence for data-informed, well-managed local government. What Works Cities Certification recognizes and celebrates local governments for their exceptional use of data to inform policy decisions, allocate funding, improve services, evaluate the effectiveness of programs and engage residents.

What Works Cities 2023 Gold Certification logo

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