Nesta is delighted to be partnering with Bloomberg Philanthropies on a new competition calling for European cities to generate bold ideas to solve common challenges – and share them with the world.

Michael Bloomberg today announced the launch of Bloomberg Philanthropies' 2013-2014 Mayors Challenge, a competition to inspire European cities to come up with bold ideas that solve major problems and improve city life – and that ultimately can be shared with other cities.


Modelled on a successful inaugural competition in the United States, the Mayors Challenge will award €5 million for the grand prize winner and €1 million for four additional cities that come up with the boldest and most transferable ideas.


"The Mayors Challenge has been a big success here in the United States, and now we're bringing it across the Atlantic to find a whole new set of cutting-edge ideas," said Bloomberg, philanthropist and Mayor of New York City. "On so many issues, cities are redefining the future, and the Mayors Challenge is intended to help accelerate that progress and spread it far and wide."


The competition invites leaders of European cities with 100,000 residents or more to submit their city's boldest idea. The ideas must address a serious problem, improve customer service for residents, create significant government efficiencies, and/or increase engagement with the public. Approximately 600 cities across Europe are eligible to apply.


A central aspect of the Mayors Challenge is enabling local leaders to tackle the high-priority problem of their choosing. In last year’s inaugural Mayors Challenge in the United States, over 300 American cities participated and submissions covered a diverse array of issues. Providence, Rhode Island was presented the Mayors Challenge Grand Prize for Innovation and a $5 million implementation award for its cutting-edge early education initiative. 


Interested cities should RSVP to participate by 11 November 2013. The deadline for applications is 31 January 2014.


To find out more about the Mayors Challenge, visit and follow @BloombergCities on Twitter.