• Vallejo Named as Finalist in Bloomberg Philanthropies 2018 Mayors Challenge

    February 22, 2018
    Vallejo, CA is among 35 Champion Cities That Will Embark on Six-month Testing Phase in Competition for Grand Prize. As Part of the American Cities Initiative, the Challenge Will Invest $17.5 Million in Grants and Technical Assistance to Discover Innovative Solutions to Urgent Local Issues.

    Vallejo is one of 35 Champion Cities selected today 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. The 35 urban innovations rose to the top of a competitive pool of more than 320 applications. The "Champion Cities" will now begin a six-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 is a key part of 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.

    Vallejo, now advancing in this six-month "Test, Learn, and Adapt" phase of the competition, will pursue a system that maps subsurface pipes to both improve the City's ability to address infrastructure needs as well as assist with development needs to expedite infill and brownfield development. The design-centered approach will merge subsurface LIDAR/ground penetrating radar. The data sets would then be processed through an image identification process and machine learning algorithm. A core City team will refine the idea with a grant from Bloomberg Philanthropies, as well as personalized support from innovation experts, to test and begin building support.

    "Vallejo is elated that we have qualified as a Champion City," proclaimed Mayor Bob Sampayan. "We are enthusiastic about the opportunity to craft a solution to identify subsurface infrastructure. This innovation will enhance our ability to assess and monitor critical systems in our community."

    Ultimately, this innovation will be re-submitted in its final form 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 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 mayorschallenge.bloomberg.org and @BloombergCities on Twitter and Instagram.

    About Bloomberg Philanthropies
    Bloomberg Philanthropies works in over 120 countries around the world to ensure better, longer lives for the greatest number of people. The organization focuses on five key areas for creating lasting change: Arts, Education, Environment, Government Innovation, and Public Health. Bloomberg Philanthropies encompasses all of Michael R. Bloomberg's charitable activities, including his foundation and his personal giving. In 2016, Bloomberg Philanthropies distributed $600 million. For more information, please visit www.bloomberg.org or follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and Twitter.

    Media Contact
    Bloomberg Philanthropies, Courtney Greenwald, (212) 205-0361, courtney@bloomberg.org
    City of Vallejo, Joanna Altman, (707) 648-4362, joanna.altman@cityofvallejo.net
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