Syracuse was named one of 20 finalists in Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Mayors Challenge contest. The group recognizes ideas that make cities more efficient and improve customer service, as well as address social and economic problems. More than 300 cities submitted applications to compete for a $5 million grand prize.
Syracuse wants to capitalize on its immigrant population. A press release issued by Mayor Stephanie Miner described the proposed project:
Syracuse was selected based on its innovative idea to create The Syracuse International Village: a one-of-a-kind International Village and World Market in the city of Syracuse that links refugee resettlement services and creates pathways to economic opportunity for refugees and new Americans. By linking and unifying various refugee and immigrant support services, and creating a world marketplace for small business training and incubation for these populations, Syracuse will foster one of the most robust and creative communities for new Americans in our nation.
Syracuse now joins other cities capitalizing on their immigrant populations. They’re wooing immigrants because they can help reverse population decline. Studies show an influx of immigrants to a community can raise property values and decrease crime. They can also strengthen economies.
Monroe County has more than 60,000 foreign-born residents – 8.4 percent of the population.
Here are the other ideas to improve cities, taken from the Bloomberg Philanthropies press release:
Boston, MA: Accelerating student achievement by empowering parents to manage and share information more easily with educators and entrepreneurs, spurring the creation of the next generation of educational tools
Chicago, IL: Building the first open-source analytics platform that identifies real-time patterns for city agencies—allowing decision makers to anticipate problems and craft solutions
Cincinnati, OH: Reducing infant deaths through an intervention that reaches 100% of new mothers
Durham, NC: Creating entrepreneurship hubs in three distressed neighborhoods to generate new solutions and partnerships to strengthen communities
High Point, NC: Adapting evidence-based CeaseFire approach to gang violence to domestic violence reduction
Hillsboro, OR: Integrating public and private suburban transportation options to provide greater choice and access and create a more sustainable community
Houston, TX: Tapping game-changing technology for new “one bin for all” plan that makes recycling easier and captures 75% of all waste
Indianapolis, IN: Ensuring access to a research-based, top-tier education for every child in the city, by creating 30,000 high-quality seats through charter and district partnerships
Knoxville, TN: Eliminating food deserts through a comprehensive local food system that addresses land, farming jobs, processing, transit, sale, and composting
Lafayette, LA: Encouraging community-wide gaming for social good
Lexington, KY: Building a new citizen engagement platform focused on civic problem solving
Milwaukee, WI: Transforming foreclosed properties into community assets that improve public health and spark economic opportunity
Philadelphia, PA: Reimagining the RFP process to better enable civic entrepreneurs to solve city problems
Phoenix, AZ: Customizing smart-energy districts in 15 urban neighborhoods in Phoenix to become “smartest energy city in the world”
Providence, RI: Closing word deficit of children born into low-income households through home visitations and increased vocabulary exposure
Saint Paul, MN: Streamlining online permitting process for residents, developers, and businesses inspired by personal tax preparation software
San Francisco, CA: Promoting workforce development and experience-based training through opportunities to volunteer on city projects
Santa Monica, CA: Becoming first U.S. city to establish a wellbeing index to spur improvements for the entire city
Springfield, OR: Revolutionizing EMS through mobile primary care delivery units