New York City-based Bloomberg Philanthropies has announced the launch of the 2016 Mayors Challenge, a foundation-sponsored competition designed to inspire cities with at least a hundred thousand residents to develop bold new policy ideas that can help solve major problems and improve city life.
The annual competition, which this year is focused for the first time on Latin American and Caribbean cities, will award a $5 million grand prize and $1 million awards to four other cities that generate the most promising ideas. Cities that enter the competition are expected to submit ideas that address a major social or economic issue, improve customer service for residents or businesses, create government efficiencies, and/or improve citizen engagement in local government. Winners will be selected based on their idea’s vision, potential for impact, implementation plan, and potential for replication.
All Mayors Challenge winners will receive implementation and documentation assistance from Bloomberg Philanthropies and its partners, which this year include the Centre for Public Impact. A total of more than nine hundred cities are eligible to enter the competition, including cities in Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay, Suriname, and Venezuela.
“Cities around the world are pursuing bold policy innovations, and those in Latin America and the Caribbean are helping to lead the way," said Michael R. Bloomberg, founder of Bloomberg Philanthropies and three-term Mayor of New York City. "Expanding the Mayors Challenge to Latin America and the Caribbean provides new opportunities for progress on a wide range of issues that impact the lives of citizens. We’re looking forward to seeing what exciting new ideas emerge from creative city leaders throughout the region."