Mayor Bloomberg Declares The Race Is On For NYC Builders

12:57:52 | 2012-06-26


Bloomberg Philanthropies Mayors Challenge HD

(New York, NY) — Last week, Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced a competition for urban architects around the United States that will help both the city and its participants.

The contest aims to, “address serious social or economic problems” or “create efficiencies that make government work better, faster, and cheaper.”  1,300 city halls were invited to this so-called “Mayors Challenge” is offering a staggering $9,000,000 in prizes, which is divvied up amongst 5 winners, including a $5,000,000 grand prize and 4 $1,000,000 prize winners.

This challenge was created by Bloomberg Philanthropies as a way of finding and spreading innovative local solutions to national problems.  In order to apply for this challenge, you must meet a small number of criteria including a population of 30,000 or more residents as well as a small handful of other rules and regulations.

In order to win one of these lofty prizes, the judges participating in the Mayors Challenge will, “help evaluate the boldness, strength of planning, potential for impact, and replicability [sic] of your idea.”  The ideas presented must look to solve a problem that faces cities in general, as well as work with those in the community outside of the city government, and use the available resources in as creative a manner as possible.

While some architects may look to create as grand an idea as possible, another factor that the judges will look into is the ability to implement any ideas.  The criteria for this include thoughtfulness in planning for its budget, resources, and timeline for the project, as well as wariness in terms of potential political, legal, or regulatory changes, in addition to planning for funding and roll out on a short-term basis.

The original stated goal of this project is for the impact on the community, both on a local and national basis, and impact makes up the third portion of the judges selection process.  The applications need to address a serious issue that effects the community, either socially or economically, or effect local businesses, or the government.  Finally, the final piece the judges will be examining is the ability to replicate this idea and transfer it to other cities.  This “replicability” means that for ideas to have a shot at the prizes, ideas must address challenges that are relevant to multiple cities, and use widely available resources.  In order for your city to enter, you must RSVP by July 16th, and have your application in by September 14th.

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