Bloomberg Bets on Cities

Launched today by Bloomberg Philanthropies, the Mayors Challenge will award $9 million in prizes as a down payment on urban innovation, reports Ariel Schwartz.

Open to any U.S. city with over 30,000 people (that's 1,300 cities for those counting), the Mayors Challenge was created to "celebrate the creative problem solving and incredible innovation that is happening in city halls from coast to coast," with the winning idea awarded $5 million.

According to Schwartz, "The challenge...asks city governments to come up with ideas that improve city government and the local population by addressing social and economic problems, improving customer service for businesses and residents, enhancing accountability to and engagement with the public, or make government work better, faster, and cheaper."

Selection of the initial round of 20 finalists, who will be invited to attend Bloomberg Ideas Camp, "a two-day gathering to help cities refine their projects," will be based on four criteria: "outlining the process of coming up with an idea, planning for it, achieving impact, and providing evidence that replication in other cities is possible."

Cities interested in applying are required to RSVP by July 16th, 2012.

Full Story: Bloomberg Offers A Cash-Fueled Challenge For Cities To Solve Major Problems

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