Bloomberg group dangles $9M for ways to aid city life
(CBS News) New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is dipping into his own pocket to spur urban innovation, offering millions of dollars in prize money for the best ideas to make city life better.
Bloomberg Philanthropies is launching the "Mayors Challenge" Wednesday, which will award the city with the most innovative proposal $5 million. The next four in the competition would get $1 million each. Municipalities with populations of 30,000 or more are eligible to apply.
"The country is made up of cities," Bloomberg explained on "CBS This Morning." "More and more people living in cities. Estimate are 70 percent of the people will live in cities in a decade or so. Cities are where things happen
"Cities, who are all having economic problems, have to do things better, and cities are where mayors work day-in and day-out, and they know what works, what the people want. And so we're trying to find out what [are] the best ideas.
"Each mayor can have a different idea that may be transferable to another city. We're all in this together. Hopefully, with this prize, people will focus on coming up with new, innovative ideas that improve efficiency, improve the services, make government more responsive."
Bloomberg said cities are "always in serious fiscal difficulty because people want services and don't want to pay for them. That's the nature of democracy. There's nothing wrong with that. That's a good discipline in many senses.
"They're [now] in an economic downturn, the business model of the cities is you have to provide more services when the economy goes down and your tax revenues, the ability to provide those services also goes down. Cities that are smart save money in the good times to use in the bad times. But we're all getting through this. If the cities really make the investment in the down times, they'll find that people come, their tax base grows and they'll be OK in the good times."
- Watch: Fiery collapse of railroad trestle
- Woman tried to "talk down" suspects in UK slaying
- British soldier savagely killed in London machete attack
- Fox News reporter secretly monitored by Obama administration
- Extra: Okla. dog owner and dog Bowser reunited
- Bowser and Barbara: Dog owner's joy amid Okla. rubble
- Boston bombing suspect's friend killed in FBI shootout
- Doctor: Modern wheat a "perfect, chronic poison"
- Spirit Airlines CEO on bad ratings, high occupancy
- Stories of survival: Second-grader recounts tornado
- Boston bombings suspect left note in boat he hid in
- 3D-printed gun plans pulled from the Internet
- Mark Harmon: Humor and characters make "NCIS" a hit
- Forbes 100 Most Powerful Women of 2013 list released
- Feds targeted FOX reporter James Rosen
- Amy Grant on success and the inspiration for her music