The Vincles BCN project took part in the Mayors Challenge 2014 with another 155 cities, which produced 16 finalists and five winners. Barcelona was awarded the first prize, worth 5 million euros, while the other four finalists (Stockholm, Warsaw, Athens and Kirklees) received 1 million euros.

The Mayors Challenge encourages cities to come up with innovative ideas to solve current challenges and difficulties. These are transferable and replicable ideas that have to be implemented with ever tighter budgets and growing needs.

The Mayors Challenge is promoted by Bloomberg Philanthropies and the prizes awarded also include follow-up and implementation support to ensure the ideas can be reproduced in other cities.

Michael Bloomberg, who founded the North American media company Bloomberg L.P., was New York’s 108th mayor and he launched these prizes to help improve people’s quality of life through social innovation projects.

The other 2014 Mayors Challenge winners, also implementing their projects, were:

  • Kirklees. Comoodle is a collaborative economy project where local people share stuff, space and skills. By means of an online platform set up by Kirklees Council, they can swap almost anything, and everything is available to everyone. The platform is in full swing and is an example of good practice in social innovation, a pioneer in putting the shared economy into practice through public action. Project website
  • Atenes. SynAthina is a citizen participation project based on an online platform that breaks down administrative barriers in the way local government works in Athens. It brings committed citizens and the local authority together to find new solutions to present-day social and economic problems. Project website
  • Stocholm. Stockholm Biochar Project fights against climate change in the Swedish capital. Biochar is an organic substance that enhances tree growth, retains carbon and purifies rain water. The city council is going to encourage the collection of organic waste to turn it into biochar and redistribute it. Project website
  • Warsaw. Virtual Warsaw. Warsaw has designed a map for people with visual impairment, as they often face lots of difficulties getting round the city. To make that easier, Warsaw is going to install thousands of beacons around the city that will communicate with users via mobile phones. These tools will transform people’s lives and give them more independence.