Cities are where it's at these days. The reality that more people now live in them than outside of them, coupled with the fact that many cities are floundering to keep afloat financially, has leaders, citizens and innovotors looking for ways to reinvent and reinspire communities. Countless grassroots projects are springing up as people bring gardening, energy efficiency plans, community involvement initiatives, resource-sharing programs and much more to local communities. And a lot can be accomplished on a shoestring budget, but to scale projects takes money.
To inspire U.S. cities to create innovative solutions, and give them money to implement them, the Huffington Post and Bloomberg Philanthropies created the Mayors Challenge. The Challenge will award five million dollars to one city and one million to four others. 305 cities entered the contest. The field has been narrowed down to 20 finalists and the public is being asked to vote for their favorite project.
Here are just a few of the many outstanding ideas. You can vote for your favorite here. Voting ends on March 6.
Milwaukee, Wisconsin - Turning vacant lots into community gardens and parks
Santa Monica, California - Measuring and promoting well-being
Syracuse, New York - Harnessing the talents and energies of New Americans