Nov. 5, 2012
City’s idea selected from more than 300 submissions to compete for $5 million grand prize
Mayor Greg Stanton and City Manager David Cavazos today announced that Phoenix has been selected as a finalist for the Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Mayors Challenge, a competition created to inspire American cities to generate innovative ideas that solve major challenges and improve city life – and that ultimately can be shared with other cities across the nation.
Phoenix was selected based on its innovative idea to transform Phoenix into the Smartest Energy City in the World by creating community-driven "smart-energy districts" that improve neighborhoods, reduce the urban heat island and maximize energy diversity. Phoenix will now compete against 19 other cities across the country for the $5 million grand prize as well as one of four additional prizes of $1 million each.
"I am honored and thrilled that our city's idea has been recognized by Mayor Bloomberg as one of the top 20 in the country," said Stanton. "Phoenix has the economic opportunity to be a national leader in innovation and sustainability, and our economy and future generations depend on it. As our city rises out of the recession, the time is ripe to invest in new energy that powers us forward."
"Phoenix's innovation and efficiency strategies have been recognized nationally, and we hope to take it to the next level with this application," said Councilman Bill Gates, chairman of the City Council Finance, Efficiency, Innovation and Sustainability Subcommittee. "With our demonstrated ability to work with private-sector partners and residents, combined with our most abundant natural resource, the sun, Phoenix can become a world leader in energy development and sustainability."
A team from Phoenix will attend Bloomberg Ideas Camp, a two-day gathering in New York City in November during which city teams will work collaboratively with each other and experts to further refine their ideas. Coming out of Camp, the Phoenix team will have access to additional technical support to prepare their ideas for final submission. Winners will be announced in spring 2013, with a total of $9 million going to five cities to jumpstart implementation of their ideas.
“Congratulations to Mayor Stanton and the City of Phoenix for becoming a Mayors Challenge finalist. The response to the Mayors Challenge was extraordinary: bold and innovative ideas were submitted from every corner of the country. We look forward to welcoming the Phoenix team to Ideas Camp,” said James Anderson, who directs the Government Innovation program at Bloomberg Philanthropies.
“Phoenix's citizen-driven Innovation and Efficiency Task Force helped design this creative idea. It compliments all of the other important initiatives the Task Force has been working on for the past three years, including saving residents more than $59 million and helping to set the new goal of $100 million in innovation and efficiency savings by 2015," said Cavazos.
The 20 finalist ideas were rated on four key criteria: vision/creativity, ability to implement, potential for impact, and potential for replication. A specially-assembled selection committee, co-chaired by Shona Brown, Senior Vice President and head of Google.org, and Ron Daniel, Bloomberg Philanthropies board member and Former Managing Partner at McKinsey & Company where he is still active, helped select the finalist cities.
About the Mayors Challenge
Mayors of U.S. cities with 30,000 residents or more were eligible to compete in the Mayors Challenge. 305 cities representing 45 states across the country submitted applications by September 14, 2012.
The Mayors Challenge is the latest initiative of Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Mayors Project, which aims to spread proven and promising ideas among cities. Other Mayors Project investments include Cities of Service, Innovation Delivery Teams, and Financial Empowerment Centers.
To learn more about the Mayors Challenge, visit bloomberg.org/mayorschallenge.