With a growing number of cities trying to solve local issues through community input, Bloomberg Philanthropies has organized a new grant competition for cities to develop imaginative and modern civic engagement initiatives.
Dubbed the Engaged Cities Award, the inaugural challenge closed its application process Friday and plans to announce and fund winning solutions in May. The first prize city will receive $100,000 and two runner-ups will receive $50,000 to further their civic engagement proposals. The award is open to cities across North America, South America, and Europe.
Key questions in the application process asked city’s what problem they were solving, details on the solution and what metric were used to determine success. Once 10 finalists are selected in the Spring, Bloomberg Philanthropies hopes the civic engagement submissions can serve as templates that other cities can duplicate.
Many proposed solutions are expected to apply digital tools and emerging technologies. Providing examples, Bloomberg Philanthropies’ event site points to partnerships with civic tech groups to map neighborhood problems and to projects that use crowdsourcing for resident feedback.
The award follows increased activity around Bloomberg Philanthrophies’ What Works Cities program, which reached a total of 95 participating cities in October, each relying on funding from the organization to increase its use of data-driven decision making.