Another innovation prize? Just throw it over there with the others. Seriously though, Barcelona is starting to get a reputation as a world-leading innovative city, and we have the hardware to prove it. In March, Barcelona took home the iCapital Award, the first-ever European Commission prize that was awarded to Barcelona “for introducing the use of new technologies to bring the city closer to citizens.”
Well, today the good news came from Paris that Barcelona won Mayor Bloomberg’s Innovation Challenge, for implementing innovative ideas that could potentially be spread to other global cities.
“To meet the biggest challenges of the 21st century, city leaders must think creatively and be unafraid to try new things, and the Mayors Challenge is designed to help them do that,” says Michael Bloomberg.
According to the foundation, 155 European cities took on the challenge of designing creative solutions to critical urban issues, such as public health, youth unemployment, environmental issues, aging population and public safety. The runner’s up included Athens, Kirklees, Stockholm and Warsaw, which each received a €1 million award.
Barcelona’s project focused on improving the quality of life for its growing elderly population with the creation of a support network that includes relatives, friends, social workers and volunteers.
In an email to the foundation after learning of the announcement, Barcelona’s Mayor, Xavier Trias remarked, “The Mayors Challenge inspired Barcelona to address the issue of isolation among elderly residents, and this prize will enable us to achieve a more connected and inclusive society.”
To learn more about the Mayors Challenge 2014:
Bloomberg Philanthropies’ 2013-2014 Mayors Challenge is an ideas competition for European cities – a chance to win funding for solutions to urban challenges
Photo Credit: AP Photo/Christophe Ena