The 20 Finalists for the Bloomberg Philanthropies Mayors Challenge have been announced, and included in this group are four C40 cities: Chicago, Houston, Philadelphia and San Francisco. The competition was created to inspire American cities to generate innovative ideas that solve major challenges and improve city life, and that ultimately can be shared with other cities across the U.S.
The Challenge was launched earlier this year and all cities with a population of 30,000 or more were invited to participate – 300 applications were received. The grand prize winning city will receive a $5 million prize, while four runner-up cities will receive $1 million each.
“The response to the Mayors Challenge was extraordinary. Bold and innovative ideas were submitted from every corner of the country. At Bloomberg Philanthropies, we’ve always believed that cities are America’s new laboratories of democracy and this competition provided clear proof of the talent and creativity in city halls from coast to coast,” said James Anderson, who directs the Government Innovation program at Bloomberg Philanthropies.
In Houston, the Challenge has brought to the fore a plan to streamline waste diversion by developing the first total material resource recovery facility in the nation. San Francisco’s project seeks to link unemployed individuals with city government projects that lack personnel to close the employment gap throughout the city. Chicago’s plan calls for the deployment of an open-source analytics platform that will help streamline decision-making processes in city services, while Philadelphia focuses on developing public-private partnerships to tackle urban issues.
Finalist projects run the spectrum of aiming to combat domestic violence, increase transportation mobility, enhance food security and expand park spaces, among other goals.
For more information please visit the Mayors Challenge site.