Here are the innovative ideas 21 European cities proposed in the Bloomberg Mayors Challenge


Citiscope’s urban innovation feature this week is on the “ideas camp” for European cities hosted recently by Bloomberg Philanthropies in Berlin. The 21 cities are finalists in the most recent round of the Bloomberg Mayors Challenge.


The “ideas camp” for European cities was hosted recently by Bloomberg Philanthropies in Berlin. The 21 cities are finalists in the most recent round of the Bloomberg Mayors Challenge. Here are the ideas the cities are putting forward.

AMSTERDAM, The Netherlands — Create an online game to help youth build skills, find jobs across Europe through connection to apprenticeships.

ATHENS, Greece — Empower citizens through an online platform to address the large number of small-scale urban challenges exacerbated by the Greek economic crisis.

BARCELONA, Spain — Improve quality of life, reducing social isolation for elderly citizens by establishing a network of support — including family, friends, social workers, and volunteers for each.

BOLOGNA, Italy — Stem youth unemployment by creating informal education labs to teach children aged 6-16 entrepreneurship and 21st-century skills.

BRISTOL, United Kingdom — Tackle obesity and unemployment by creating a new economic system that increases access to locally grown, healthy foods.

BRNO, Czech Republic — Engage citizens to build social cohesion and reduce crime for safer communities.

CARDIFF, United Kingdom — Increase productivity little by little in residents’ personal and professional lives, building toward a more productive city.

FLORENCE, Italy — Combat unemployment with a new economic development model that combines technology and social innovation, targeting the city’s historic artisan and maker community.

GDANSK, Poland — Re-instill faith in local democracy by mandating that city government formally debate local issues put forward by citizens.

KIRKLEES, United Kingdom — Create an online sharing program for idle assets, from vehicles to unused spaces to citizens’ untapped time and expertise, to do more with less.

KRAKOW, Poland — Create a seamless and unified public transit payment system for greener transportation.

LISBON, Portugal — Transform wasted kinetic energy generated by the city’s commuting traffic into electricity, reducing the carbon footprint.

LONDON, United Kingdom — Create a system of sensors, web and mobile apps empowering citizens to monitor and improve their own health while reducing health care costs across the system.

MADRID, Spain — Cut carbon emissions by harvesting underground energy and excess heat from wastewater systems.

SCHAERBEEK, Belgium — Use proven flyover and 3D geothermal mapping technology to provide each homeowner and tenant with a personalized energy audit and incentives to invest in energy-saving strategies.

SOFIA, Bulgaria — Transform public spaces by deploying mobile art units to work side-by-side with local residents, re-envisioning and rejuvenating underused spaces and increasing civic engagement.

STARA ZAGORA, Bulgaria — Reverse the brain-drain of the city’s best and brightest by helping young entrepreneurs turn promising ideas into local high-tech businesses.

STOCKHOLM, Sweden — Combat climate change by engaging citizens to produce biochar, an organic material (created from green waste) that sequesters carbon, purifies storm runoff, and encourages tree growth.

THE HAGUE, The Netherlands — Enable citizens to allocate a portion of their own tax money to support the local projects they most believe in.

WARSAW, Poland — Help the blind and visually impaired to navigate the city as easily as their sighted peers by providing high-tech auditory alerts.

YORK, United Kingdom — Open up the city’s procurement system to solicit ideas from citizens, businesses and organizations, and then accepting the best ones.