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The City of Chicago won $1 million through the Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Mayors Challenge, a nationwide competition that called on American cities to put forth innovative ideas to improve city life. The prize money will go toward building a real-time analytics platform, an open-source project to be built over the next few years that will allow cities to use data to improve services.
“At its core, our idea allows us to anticipate and get ahead of problems before they begin, helping us to be a more effective, smarter government,” said Mayor Rahm Emanuel in a press release. “This platform has the potential to fundamentally change the way cities operate. With data, we are building a new path for all cities in the 21st century.”
The SmartData Platform will provide millions of lines of data in real-time, giving city leaders the ability to react to sudden events, such as weather emergencies, as well as the chance to respond more appropriately to issues that plague the urban space.
“Chicago’s predictive analytics platform will help the Windy City—and other cities—harness the power of data,” said New York City Mayor and philanthropist Michael R. Bloomberg in a press release. “Mayor Emanuel’s idea tackles an issue of growing importance for cities and companies alike, and Bloomberg Philanthropies is eager to see this idea implemented.”
Providence, Rhode Island, won the $5 million grand prize, while Houston, Philadelphia and Santa Monica also snagged $1 million. The contest was open to any American mayor representing a city of more than 30,000, and applications last fall came from 305 cities across 45 states. Contestants were judged on four criteria: vision, ability to implement, potential for impact, and potential for replication.
Learn more about the City of Chicago’s open data initiative here.
Image via Bloomberg Philanthropies.