Welcome!

News Feed Item

Twenty-one European Cities Advance in Bloomberg Philanthropies' Mayors Challenge Competition to Create Innovative Solutions to Urban Challenges

-- Finalists from field of 155 applicants are in the running to receive a total of EUR 9 million; Cities will convene at Bloomberg "Ideas Camp," refine and resubmit proposals in summer

NEW YORK, April 23, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Bloomberg Philanthropies today revealed the 21 European cities that have emerged as final contenders in its 2013-2014 Mayors Challenge, a competition to inspire cities to generate innovative ideas that solve major challenges and improve city life, and that ultimately can spread to other cities. One grand prize winner will receive €5 million for the most creative and transferable idea. Four additional cities will be awarded €1 million, and all will be announced in the fall. The finalists' proposed solutions address some of Europe's most critical issue areas: youth unemployment, aging populations, civic engagement, economic development, environment and energy concerns, public health and safety, and making government more efficient.

Photo - http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20140421/76881

"European cities in this year's Mayors Challenge stepped up with bold and creative ideas that have the potential to improve lives across the continent and globe," said Michael R. Bloomberg, philanthropist and 108th Mayor of New York City. "Cities face many urgent challenges – from climate change to social isolation to youth unemployment. We need city leaders to continually reach for innovative new ways to address urban challenges – and then share what's working with the world. That's what the Mayors Challenge is all about."

The 2013-2014 Mayors Challenge is Bloomberg Philanthropies' first in Europe after the inaugural competition in the United States. Cities with populations of at least 100,000 residents were invited to participate. The finalist cities have populations ranging from fewer than 250,000 residents to more than 1 million, and represent 11 countries across Europe. They were selected from 155 applicants and their proposed solutions (see following list) illustrate both complex challenges and common urban issues across cities and regions.

Finalists will next attend Bloomberg Ideas Camp, a two-day conference convening municipal leaders from each city as well as leading innovation, policy, and programming experts who will partner with and push teams to strengthen their ideas. Ideas Camp is planned to occur in Berlin in June.

James Anderson, head of government innovation for Bloomberg Philanthropies, said: "While the ideas are very diverse, we identified key themes. The ideas tended toward networked, distributed solutions as opposed to costly centralized ones. There was a lot of interest in citizen engagement as both a means and end. Technology that concretely and positively affects the lives of individual citizens – from the blind person in Warsaw to the unemployed youth in Amsterdam to the homeowner in Schaerbeek -- also played a significant role." 

Bloomberg Philanthropies staff and an independent selection committee of 12 members from across Europe closely considered each application over multiple rounds of review, culminating in feedback and selection earlier this month, resulting in 21 cities' ideas moving forward for further development. The submissions will be judged on four criteria: vision, potential for impact, implementation plan, and potential to spread to other cities. The finalists and their ideas are:

  1. AMSTERDAM, Netherlands – Youth Unemployment: Tackling widespread youth unemployment by equipping young people with 21st century skills and connecting them with jobs and apprenticeships across Europe through an online game
  2. ATHENS, Greece – Civic Engagement: Empowering citizens with a new online platform to address the large number of small-scale urban challenges accelerated by the Greek economic crisis
  3. BARCELONA, Spain – Aging: Improving quality of life and limiting social isolation by establishing a network of public and private support – including family, friends, social workers, and volunteers – for each elderly citizen
  4. BOLOGNA, Italy – Youth Unemployment: Building an urban scale model of informal education labs and civic engagement to prevent youth unemployment by teaching children aged 6-16 entrepreneurship and 21st century skills
  5. BRISTOL, United Kingdom – Health/Anti-obesity: Tackling obesity and unemployment by creating a new economic system that increases access to locally grown, healthy foods
  6. BRNO, Czech Republic – Public Safety/Civic Engagement: Engaging citizens in keeping their own communities safe to build social cohesion and reduce crime
  7. CARDIFF, United Kingdom – Economic Development: Increasing productivity little by little in residents' personal and professional lives, so that a series of small improvements add up to a much more productive city
  8. FLORENCE, Italy – Economic Development: Combatting unemployment with a new economic development model that combines technology and social innovation, targeting the city's historic artisan and maker community
  9. GDANSK, Poland – Civic Engagement: Re-instilling faith in local democracy by mandating that city government formally debate local issues put forward by citizens
  10. KIRKLEES, United Kingdom – Social Capital: Pooling the city and community's idle assets – from vehicles to unused spaces to citizens' untapped time and expertise – to help the city make the most of what it has and do more with less
  11. KRAKOW, Poland – Transportation: Implementing smart, personalized transportation incentives and a seamless and unified public transit payment system to convince residents to opt for greener modes of transportation
  12. LISBON, Portugal – Energy: Transforming wasted kinetic energy generated by the city's commuting traffic into electricity, reducing the carbon footprint and increasing environmental sustainability
  13. LONDON, United Kingdom – Public Health: Empowering citizens to monitor and improve their own health through a coordinated, multi-stakeholder platform and new technologies that dramatically improve quality of life and reduce health care costs
  14. MADRID, Spain – Energy: Diversifying its renewable energy options by finding and funding the best ways to harvest underground power, such as wasted heat generated by the city's below-ground infrastructure
  15. SCHAERBEEK, Belgium – Energy: Using proven flyover and 3D geothermal mapping technology to provide each homeowner and tenant with a personalized energy audit and incentives to invest in energy-saving strategies
  16. SOFIA, Bulgaria – Civic Engagement: Transforming public spaces by deploying mobile art units to work side-by-side with local residents, re-envisioning and rejuvenating underused spaces and increasing civic engagement
  17. STARA ZAGORA, Bulgaria – Economic Development: Reversing the brain-drain of the city's best and brightest by helping young entrepreneurs turn promising ideas into local high-tech businesses
  18. STOCKHOLM, Sweden – Environment: Combatting climate change by engaging citizens to produce biochar, an organic material that increases tree growth, sequesters carbon, and purifies storm runoff
  19. THE HAGUE, Netherlands – Civic Engagement: Enabling citizens to allocate a portion of their own tax money to support the local projects they most believe in
  20. WARSAW, Poland – Transportation/Accessibility: Enabling the blind and visually impaired to navigate the city as easily as their sighted peers by providing high-tech auditory alerts which will save them travel time and increase their independence
  21. YORK, United Kingdom – Government Systems: Revolutionizing the way citizens, businesses, and others can propose new ideas to solve top city problems, providing a more intelligent way to acquire or develop the best solutions, thus enabling greater civic participation and saving the city both time and money

Further detail and related elements for this year's Mayors Challenge can be found via: http://mayorschallenge.bloomberg.org/ 

More information about the Mayors Challenge competition is available through http://www.bloomberg.org/initiative/mayors_challenge

About Bloomberg Philanthropies

Bloomberg Philanthropies' mission is to ensure better, longer lives for the greatest number of people. The organization focuses on five key areas for creating lasting change: Public Health, Environment, Education, Government Innovation, which includes the Mayors Challenge, and the Arts. Bloomberg Philanthropies encompasses all of Michael R. Bloomberg's charitable activities, including his foundation and his personal giving. In 2013, Bloomberg Philanthropies distributed $452 million. For more information, please visit bloomberg.org.

For more information on Bloomberg Philanthropies, media should contact Meghan Womack, [email protected]

More Stories By PR Newswire

Copyright © 2007 PR Newswire. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PRNewswire content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of PRNewswire. PRNewswire shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.

Latest Stories
The Internet of Things will challenge the status quo of how IT and development organizations operate. Or will it? Certainly the fog layer of IoT requires special insights about data ontology, security and transactional integrity. But the developmental challenges are the same: People, Process and Platform and how we integrate our thinking to solve complicated problems. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Craig Sproule, CEO of Metavine, demonstrated how to move beyond today's coding paradigm and sh...
Tintri VM-aware storage is the simplest for virtualized applications and cloud. Organizations including GE, Toyota, United Healthcare, NASA and 6 of the Fortune 15 have said "No to LUNs." With Tintri they manage only virtual machines, in a fraction of the footprint and at far lower cost than conventional storage. Tintri offers the choice of all-flash or hybrid-flash platform, converged or stand-alone structure and any hypervisor. Rather than obsess with storage, leaders focus on the business app...
DevOps is often described as a combination of technology and culture. Without both, DevOps isn't complete. However, applying the culture to outdated technology is a recipe for disaster; as response times grow and connections between teams are delayed by technology, the culture will die. A Nutanix Enterprise Cloud has many benefits that provide the needed base for a true DevOps paradigm.
Big Data, cloud, analytics, contextual information, wearable tech, sensors, mobility, and WebRTC: together, these advances have created a perfect storm of technologies that are disrupting and transforming classic communications models and ecosystems. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Erik Perotti, Senior Manager of New Ventures on Plantronics’ Innovation team, provided an overview of this technological shift, including associated business and consumer communications impacts, and opportunities it m...
For organizations that have amassed large sums of software complexity, taking a microservices approach is the first step toward DevOps and continuous improvement / development. Integrating system-level analysis with microservices makes it easier to change and add functionality to applications at any time without the increase of risk. Before you start big transformation projects or a cloud migration, make sure these changes won’t take down your entire organization.
WebRTC is about the data channel as much as about video and audio conferencing. However, basically all commercial WebRTC applications have been built with a focus on audio and video. The handling of “data” has been limited to text chat and file download – all other data sharing seems to end with screensharing. What is holding back a more intensive use of peer-to-peer data? In her session at @ThingsExpo, Dr Silvia Pfeiffer, WebRTC Applications Team Lead at National ICT Australia, looked at differ...
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing IoT strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @ThingsExpo 2016 in New York. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is as "IoT-Ready" as it can be! Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, New York, is co-located with 20th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry p...
SYS-CON Events announced today that IoT Now has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 6–8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. IoT Now explores the evolving opportunities and challenges facing CSPs, and it passes on some lessons learned from those who have taken the first steps in next-gen IoT services.
The Internet of Things can drive efficiency for airlines and airports. In their session at @ThingsExpo, Shyam Varan Nath, Principal Architect with GE, and Sudip Majumder, senior director of development at Oracle, discussed the technical details of the connected airline baggage and related social media solutions. These IoT applications will enhance travelers' journey experience and drive efficiency for the airlines and the airports.
SYS-CON Events announced today that WineSOFT will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Based in Seoul and Irvine, WineSOFT is an innovative software house focusing on internet infrastructure solutions. The venture started as a bootstrap start-up in 2010 by focusing on making the internet faster and more powerful. WineSOFT’s knowledge is based on the expertise of TCP/IP, VPN, SSL, peer-to-peer, mob...
DevOps is being widely accepted (if not fully adopted) as essential in enterprise IT. But as Enterprise DevOps gains maturity, expands scope, and increases velocity, the need for data-driven decisions across teams becomes more acute. DevOps teams in any modern business must wrangle the ‘digital exhaust’ from the delivery toolchain, "pervasive" and "cognitive" computing, APIs and services, mobile devices and applications, the Internet of Things, and now even blockchain.
A strange thing is happening along the way to the Internet of Things, namely far too many devices to work with and manage. It has become clear that we'll need much higher efficiency user experiences that can allow us to more easily and scalably work with the thousands of devices that will soon be in each of our lives. Enter the conversational interface revolution, combining bots we can literally talk with, gesture to, and even direct with our thoughts, with embedded artificial intelligence, whic...
WebRTC sits at the intersection between VoIP and the Web. As such, it poses some interesting challenges for those developing services on top of it, but also for those who need to test and monitor these services. In his session at WebRTC Summit, Tsahi Levent-Levi, co-founder of testRTC, reviewed the various challenges posed by WebRTC when it comes to testing and monitoring and on ways to overcome them.
Have you ever noticed how some IT people seem to lead successful, rewarding, and satisfying lives and careers, while others struggle? IT author and speaker Don Crawley uncovered the five principles that successful IT people use to build satisfying lives and careers and he shares them in this fast-paced, thought-provoking webinar. You'll learn the importance of striking a balance with technical skills and people skills, challenge your pre-existing ideas about IT customer service, and gain new in...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Catchpoint Systems, Inc., a provider of innovative web and infrastructure monitoring solutions, has been named “Silver Sponsor” of SYS-CON's DevOps Summit at 18th Cloud Expo New York, which will take place June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Catchpoint is a leading Digital Performance Analytics company that provides unparalleled insight into customer-critical services to help consistently deliver an amazing customer experience. Designed ...