Miami Beach Named as Finalist in Bloomberg Philanthropies’ 2018 Mayors Challenge


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City among 35 Champion Cities that will Embark on 6-month Testing Phase in Competition for Grand Prize

As Part of the American Cities Initiative, Challenge Will Invest $17.5 Million in Grants and Technical Assistance to Discover Innovative Solutions to Urgent Local Issues

The City of Miami Beach is one of 35 Champion Cities selected as finalists in the 2018 U.S. Mayors Challenge, a nationwide competition that encourages city leaders to uncover bold, inventive ideas that confront the toughest problems cities face. These 35 urban innovations rose to the top of a competitive pool of more than 320 applications. The Champion Cities will now begin a 6-month testing phase where they will conduct public prototypes of their ideas with grant funding of up to $100,000 per city, a new addition to the Competition this year. The Mayors Challenge returns to the U.S. as the first investment in the American Cities Initiative, a $200 million suite of new and expanded programs that will empower cities to generate innovation and advance policy that moves the nation forward.

The City of Miami Beach now advances to the six-month “Test, Learn, and Adapt” phase of the competition. Cities will refine their ideas during this process with up to $100,000, as well as personalized support from innovation experts, to test and begin building support for their urban innovations and submit a new application in August 2018. In October, four cities will receive $1 million awards and one will receive a grand prize of $5 million to bring their ideas to life.

“We received hundreds of bold and creative ideas from cities around the country in response to the 2018 Mayors Challenge, and these 35 really stood out for their potential to improve people’s lives. The next six months are a great opportunity for the cities to test their ideas and make them even more innovative and effective,” said Michael R. Bloomberg, founder of Bloomberg Philanthropies and three-term Mayor of New York City.

The 35 Champion Cities performed the best against four key criteria – vision, potential for impact, implementation plan, and potential to spread to other cities. A prestigious selection committee Co-Chaired by Former Ambassador Caroline Kennedy and Former Xerox Chairman & CEO Ursula Burns and comprising distinguished policy experts, artists, academics, business executives and social innovation leaders assessed the applications.

The City of Miami Beach proposes to create new and integrated tools to reduce uncertainty and damage from weather and climate. Their concept is to create and use an integrated centralized data operations system encompassing data science and analytics on hydrological and meteorological datasets. Correlations would then be run and predictive tools would be developed to exponentially improve our capacity for making better decisions – from simple, personal and daily decisions about how to deal with a weather event, or more complex and expensive decisions on how to reduce risk citywide. Simply stated, we need integrated meteorological and tidal predictions to protect people and property.

Miami Beach is one of 35 cities competing for the grand prize; others include: Austin, Boston, Los Angeles, Miami, Philadelphia and Washington DC, among others.

“Miami Beach will rise to the challenges of climate change and rising sea levels. Our city has been the champion of many notable issues, and we are inspired through this prestigious recognition as leaders in finding innovative solutions to make our city as resilient as possible in all areas,” said Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber. “We will work with our partners in Miami, to utilize the most effective methods to analyze useful weather data that will ultimately enhance the quality of life of the Greater Miami area.”

The 2018 Mayors Challenge builds on the success of previous Bloomberg-sponsored Challenges in the U.S. (2013), Europe (2014), and Latin America and the Caribbean (2016). For more information, visit and @BloombergCities on Twitter and Instagram.

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