Press & Media

More Than 180 European Cities from 29 Countries Enter Bloomberg Philanthropies’ 2013-2014 Mayors Challenge since Launch

Bloomberg Philanthropies today announced that 182 cities across Europe have already entered the 2013-2014 Mayors Challenge, a competition that seeks to inspire European cities to generate innovative ideas that solve major challenges and improve city life – and that ultimately can be shared with other cities. Modeled on a successful inaugural competition in the United States, the Mayors Challenge will award €5 million for the grand prize winner and €1 million for four additional cities that come up with the boldest and most transferable ideas.

“The response to the Mayors Challenge has been extremely enthusiastic all across Europe,” said Michael R. Bloomberg, philanthropist and Mayor of New York City. “The need for public sector innovation has never been greater, and we’re excited to see so many European leaders join this competition.”

The participating cities come from 29 countries and represent over 82 million Europeans. Cities both large and small are represented in the Mayors Challenge and 22 European capital cities are taking part. The participation rate has already matched that of the inaugural Mayors Challenge in the U.S.

The competition invites leaders of European cities with 100,000 residents or more to submit their city’s boldest idea. The idea must address a serious problem, improve customer service for residents, create significant government efficiencies, and/or increase engagement with the public. Approximately 600 cities across Europe are eligible to apply. Participating mayors must submit their ideas by 31 January 2014 – and eligible cities may still register up until that date.

Cities must be located in one of the European Union Member States or in any of the nations in Europe that are FP7 Associated Countries, namely: Albania, Austria, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Faroe Islands, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Malta, Moldova, Montenegro, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, and the United Kingdom.

In the spring, 20 finalists will be announced. In May, teams from each of those cities will attend Bloomberg Ideas Camp, a two-day gathering where top policy, program, and innovation experts will help cities strengthen and stretch their ideas to ensure the greatest impact. Coming out of camp, finalists will receive individualized coaching to prepare their ideas for final submission. Finalists will submit revised applications by mid-summer, and the five winners will be announced next fall.

A selection committee announced earlier this month will help Bloomberg Philanthropies select the 20 finalists and five eventual prize winners. The committee is comprised of experts in innovation and urban policy, and members come from a range of European countries and backgrounds. Cities will be judged on four criteria: their idea’s vision and novelty, potential for impact, potential for replication in other cities, and the quality of the implementation plans.

To learn more about the Mayors Challenge, visit bloomberg.org/mayorschallenge and follow @BloombergCities on Twitter.

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 2012, $370 million was distributed. For more information, please visit www.bloomberg.org.