For all of us who live in or close to a big city, here’s a provocative idea: Mayors may be in the best position to offer big solutions, innovation and new ways to deliver services. Mayors have more ways to encourage change than community organizations, than governors or even presidents.
Whether you agree with that or not, it’s at the heart of Michael Bloomberg‘s big idea: The billionaire New York mayor is offering millions of dollars in funding for new programs to solve urban problems and improve city life across America. Bloomberg Philanthropies is challenging mayors from around the country to compete for the money.
The city with the best idea — whether it’s a way to solve health problems or improve education or fill potholes — will receive $5 million to develop the plan and share it with other cities. Four other cities will receive grants of $1 million each.
Boston is competing for the Bloomberg money and is asking the city’s residents for their ideas.
In an era of tight public budgets, is this the future?