Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

Charleston a finalist in national leadership competition

Staff Report //February 22, 2018//

Charleston a finalist in national leadership competition

Staff Report //February 22, 2018//

Listen to this article

Charleston was selected as one of 35 finalists in the 2018 Mayors Challenge, a nationwide municipal leadership competition sponsored by Bloomberg Philanthropies.

The competition encourages city leaders to find innovative solutions to a problem that their city faces, with four $1 million prizes and a $5 million grand prize on the line.

Click to view larger. Thirty-five cities were chosen as finalists for Bloomberg Philanthropiesƒ?? 2018 U.S. Mayors Challenge. Charleston was the only one from the Palmetto State. (Graphic/Bloomberg Philanthropies)Charleston’s pitch was for creation of an emergency alert system for residents, businesses and first responders in the event of coastal floods. Sunny-day tidal flooding in Charleston is predicted to occur up to 180 days a year by 2040, and 75% of residents live in a designated flood zone.

“The concept of a flood notification system fits squarely within our ongoing flooding and drainage improvement efforts and would be an invaluable tool for communicating risk with our citizens moving forward,” Mayor John Tecklenburg said.

More than 320 applications were received and were judged on vision, potential impact, implementation plan and potential to spread to other cities. Charleston is the only finalist from South Carolina.

The finalists will spend the next six months creating public prototypes of their ideas, with up to $100,000 in grant funding. Cities will submit new applications in August detailing their implementation, and winners will be announced in October.

“We received hundreds of bold and creative ideas from cities around the country in response to the 2018 Mayors Challenge, and these 35 really stood out for their potential to improve people’s lives,” said former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, founder of Bloomberg Philanthropies. “The next six months are a great opportunity for the cities to test their ideas and make them even more innovative and effective.”

Bloomberg Philanthropies first sponsored the Mayors Challenge in the U.S. in 2013; it also held challenges in Europe in 2014 and in Latin America and the Caribbean in 2016. Previous grand prize winners include Providence, R.I., in 2013; Barcelona, Spain, in 2014; and Sao Paulo in 2016.