Hundreds of cities compete in Bloomberg Mayors Challenge
A competition to solve problems and improve life in American cities has attracted entrants from 305 cities, large and small, across the country. The 20 finalists in the Mayors Challenge, an initiative of Bloomberg Philanthropies, will be announced later this month.
New York City Mayor and billionaire Michael Bloomberg, the namesake for Bloomberg Philanthropies, issued the challenge to the nation’s mayors in June. Contestants are competing for a shot at $9 million in total prizes for their cities.
The foundation said participants include cities from 45 states and represent more than 64 million Americans. Cities competing include Chicago, Detroit, Seattle and Washington, D.C., as well as Augusta, Ga., Lincoln, Neb., Naperville, Ill., and Nashua, N.H.
The cities entered ideas in several categories. The two largest categories were economic development, accounting for 20 percent of entries, and citizen engagement, also 20 percent. Other categories include customer service (11 percent), sustainability (10 percent), public health (10 percent) and education (9 percent).
The goal is to develop ideas that can be replicated in other cities. The grand prize winning city will receive a $5 million innovation prize, with four runner-up cities receiving $1 million each.
Teams from each of the 20 finalist cities will attend a two-day meeting in New York next month to refine and strengthen their ideas. The five winning cities will be announced next spring.