The Bloomberg Philanthropies Partnership for Healthy Cities COVID-19 Global Leadership Series welcomed city leaders to regular webinars which included: briefings on the latest science on COVID-19, in-depth technical guidance, and a platform for exchanging experiences.

Webinars in the series followed two distinct tracks: weekly sessions on Tuesdays for city mayors and high-level executives, and sessions on Thursdays for COVID-19 city responders. On this page you will find related materials for both, and recorded sessions from the COVID-19 city responder track.

A new series, Leading Through Crisis: Reducing the Impact of COVID-19 in Latin America and Africa, launched on June 25, 2020. Led by the Bloomberg Harvard City Leadership Initiative in collaboration with the Partnership for Healthy Cities, this six-part virtual learning series features faculty from Harvard University and other leading experts providing up-to-date health information, science-based guidance, and crisis leadership training. Mayors of leading cities in Latin America and Africa are eligible to participate.

Disclaimer: The science around COVID-19 is rapidly evolving, and the situation reports and science briefs presented in the webinars below are not the most current. Viewers should be sure to consult the weekly science reviews in our Library for the most up-to-date evidence on COVID-19.

July 9, 2020

Technical Exchange: Challenges and Opportunities to Improve Urban Mobility in Latin America and the Caribbean

In this first session of the COVID-19 PHC City Technical Exchange Series, five Latin American cities shared strategies for modified mobility strategies. Discussions focused on rapid scaling up of bike lanes and bike use as an alternative and multimodal form of transportation, and to safely meet growing demand during the pandemic. The session was co-hosted by World Resources Institute.


May 14, 2020

Protecting Vulnerable Populations

This week’s webinar convened 60 technical leads and other colleagues from 28 cities to discuss protections for vulnerable populations throughout all stages of the pandemic. Technical experts guided cities’ public health teams on enhancing public health services for migrant, homeless, incarcerated and other particularly susceptible populations, with a spotlight on London, United Kingdom.


May 12, 2020

Approaches to Easing Social Measures

Executives and representatives from 23 cities worldwide joined a virtual convening to discuss safely loosening physical distancing measures, and the array of indicators and considerations which would inform a city’s strategy. The session also provided a venue for an exchange of COVID-19 experiences and strategies. Mayors Lori Lightfoot of Chicago, USA and Rosy Senanayake of Colombo, Sri Lanka shared updates from their cities, the need to support vulnerable populations through deep community engagement, and the benefits of coordinating local and national response where possible.


  • Presentation slides available here
May 7, 2020

Safely Easing Social Measures

Public health and social measures (PHSMs) that promote physical distancing have proven to be our most effective tool yet against COVID-19. They nevertheless carry a high social and economic burden. This week’s webinar convened 67 technical leads and other colleagues from 26 cities to discuss the conditions required to safely ease PHSMs in cities.Resources:

May 5, 2020

Ethical and Legal Considerations for a City Response

Executives and representatives from 26 cities worldwide joined a virtual convening to discuss a human rights approach to enacting and enforcing public health and safety measures (PHSMs). The session also provided a venue for an exchange of COVID-19 experiences and strategies. Mayors Josefina Belmonte of Quezon City, Philippines and Soham El Wardini of Dakar, Senegal shared updates from their cities and the need for an evolving legal response throughout the pandemic.


  • Presentation slides available here
April 30, 2020

Ethical and Legal Considerations for a City Response

This week’s webinar convened 121 technical leads and other colleagues from 57 cities to discuss the challenges of and tools for implementing public health and social measures during the COVID-19, and the importance of an agile legal system that can quickly respond to changing circumstances. A spotlight on Lagos, Nigeria provided further insight about how these principles can be applied in practice.


April 28, 2020

Approaches to Communication During a Crisis

Executives and representatives from 20 cities worldwide joined a virtual convening to discuss the pillars of a successful crisis response and to review risk communications principles and tools. The session also provided a venue for an exchange of COVID-19 experiences and strategies. Mayors Mohammed Adjei Sowah of Accra, Ghana and Jan Vappavuori of Helsinki, Finland shared updates from their cities and the power of open communication during this public health emergency.


  • Presentation slides available here
April 23, 2020

Community Engagement During a Crisis

This week’s webinar convened 122 technical leads from 24 cities to review key risk communications techniques and discuss community engagement around COVID-19. City spotlights from technical leads in Amman, Jordan and Montevideo, Uruguay showcased these principles in action.


April 21, 2020

Mayors Respond to COVID-19

Executives and representatives from 24 cities worldwide joined the inaugural Bloomberg Philanthropies Partnership for Healthy Cities COVID-19 webinar series for mayors. The virtual convening provided city leaders with guidance on how to implement best-practice interventions such as physical distancing measures, in ways that are appropriate to each locations, effective in gaining acceptance from the community and which minimize social and economic impacts.

The session also provided a venue for an exchange of COVID-19 experiences and strategies among mayors. Participants heard the experience of Freetown, Sierra Leone—a city whose executive leadership acted quickly to address the COVID-19 threat.


April 17, 2020

Adaptive Response Framework: Introducing Nonpharmaceutical Interventions (NPIs) / Public Health and Social Measures (PHSMs)

This week’s webinar convened 192 technical leads from 31 cities to discuss the COVID-19 Adaptive Response framework, or guidance for deciding when and how to implement public health social measures (PHSMs) such as physical distancing on the city level.


April 8, 2020

Introducción a la Respuesta al COVID-19 de la Alianza de Ciudades Saludables (Español)

Con el COVID-19 extendiéndose rápidamente por todo el mundo, las ciudades se encuentran al frente de la respuesta a esta crisis de salud pública sin precedentes. La Alianza de Ciudades Saludables se afianza en las relaciones ya existentes con los líderes de las ciudades para dar apoyo a su respuesta al COVID-19 con estrategias basadas en evidencia.

Más de 44 líderes y personal técnico de 13 ciudades se unieron al seminario web inaugural sobre la Respuesta al COVID-19 por parte de la Alianza, para revisar los elementos fundamentales de la preparación y respuesta ante epidemias, recibir un informe científico sobre el COVID-19 y aprender sobre la asistencia técnica disponible para las ciudades de la Alianza.


  • Puede encontrar una copia de las diapositivas aquí
March 31, 2020

Introduction to the Partnership for Healthy Cities COVID-19 Response (English)

With COVID-19 spreading rapidly around the globe, cities are at the forefront of the response to this unprecedented public health crisis. The Partnership for Healthy Cities (PHC) is building on existing relationships with city leaders to support their COVID-19 response with evidence-based strategies.

More than 65 leaders and technical staff from 31 cities joined the inaugural PHC COVID-19 Response Webinar to review the fundamentals of epidemic preparedness and response, receive a COVID science briefing, and find out about the technical assistance available to cities in the Partnership.