US Mayors Challenge Names Its Winners

The nine cities are set to receive $1 million each to address issues including mobility, climate change, homelessness and economic opportunity.

At CityLab Detroit, Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced the nine winners of the Bloomberg Philanthropies U.S. Mayors Challenge. The competition challenges city leaders to uncover and test initiatives and ideas to confront the toughest problems cities face. The nine cities will receive $1 million each to begin implementation on potential solutions to homelessness, the opioid crisis, mobility, climate change and economic opportunity.

The U.S. Mayors Challenge, part of the American Cities Initiative, has already invested more than $17 million into 300 cities over the past year through idea accelerator workshops and coaching, the testing phase with Champion Cities and awards to Challenge winners.

US Mayors Challenge winners

Denver will work to improve air quality by installing air pollution sensors around schools. The gathered data will inform the city’s approach to making the air safer.

Durham, N.C., will work to get drivers out of their cars and into alternative modes of transit by incentivizing behavior change.

Fort Collins, Colo., will put efforts into making housing safer and more energy efficient for low-income renters by offering landlords a creative mix of low-cost financing, simplified underwriting and prescreened contractors.

Georgetown, Texas, will become the first energy-independent community in the country by partnering with residents to install solar panels and battery storage at their homes.

Huntington, W.Va., will support first responders on the front lines of the opioid crisis by embedding mental healthcare professionals within emergency response departments.

Los Angeles will develop a new way for residents to help solve the city’s homelessness crisis by building additional housing units on city property and renting them, for an agreed-upon period of time, to Angelenos that are homeless or at risk of homelessness.

New Rochelle, N.Y., will improve development projects by using virtual reality technology to clearly present plans for new buildings and public spaces to residents.

Philadelphia will work to make the justice system less traumatic for young people under 18 by creating new facilities specifically designed to address trauma and connect kids with resources.

South Bend, Ind., will help low-income and part-time workers with unreliable transport options commute to their jobs by partnering with ride-share companies and employers, which will help offset the cost.

The U.S. Mayors Challenge follow previous Bloomberg Philanthropies-sponsored Challenges in the U.S. (2013), Europe (2104) and Latin America and the Caribbean (2016). Previous Mayors Challenge winners include Sao Paulo, Barcelona, Spain, and Providence, R.I.

“Mayors across the country are tackling the big issues that Washington is ignoring. This competition is designed to help them do even more, by incentivizing and supporting big—and achievable—new ideas,” said Michael Bloomberg, founder of Bloomberg Philanthropies & three-term mayor of New York City, in prepared remarks.