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Athens gains Bloomberg prize

Bloomberg Philanthropies today announced the winners in its 2014 Mayors Challenge, an ideas competition that encourages cities to generate innovative ideas that solve major challenges and improve city life - and that have the potential to spread to other cities.


Barcelona will receive the Mayors Challenge Grand Prize for Innovation and ?¬5 million toward its proposal to create a digital and community 'trust network' for each of its at-risk elderly residents. Mayors Challenge innovation prizes also were awarded to Athens, Greece, Kirklees in Yorkshire, UK, Stockholm in Sweden, and Warsaw in Poland.

Each of the cities will receive 1 million pounds to support implementation of their unique ideas. The winners proposed solutions that address some of Europe's most critical issue areas: unemployment, energy efficiency, obesity, aging and improving the overall effectiveness and efficiency of government.

Athens was awarded for Synathina, a Public Platform for Engaged Citizens. Here is the official Bloomberg announcement: "The devastating economic crisis has affected employment, infrastructure, as well as life in urban centers in Greece. Athens will create an online platform that will connect the new dynamic input of civil society with local institutions and local government to collaboratively devise solutions to local problems, ensuring solid foundations and sustainable policies for the revival of Athens' neighborhoods".

"The Mayors Challenge inspired Athens to find ways to link the dynamic input of public-spirited citizens back into municipal priorities," Athens Mayor Giorgos Kaminis said in an email to the foundation.