NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Billionaire New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is using his personal fortune to try and spark innovations that will improve life in America’s cities, WCBS 880’s Rich Lamb reported.

WCBS 880’s Rich Lamb On The Story

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Though Bloomberg Philanthropies, his honor has invited the mayors of the 1,300 cities with a population of at least 30,000 to compete for a five prizes totalling $9 million. There will one $5 million grand prize and $4 million runners up.

The competition is called the Mayor’s Challenge.

Bloomberg is looking for solutions to major problems, and ones that could be applied to other cities.

He wants ideas that would improve efficiency, improve services, and make government more responsive.

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“The country is made up of cities, more and more people living in cities. Estimates are 70 percent of the people will live in cities in a decade or so. Cities are where things happen,” he told CBS This Morning. “If you look, federal and state government seems to be paralyzed.”

LINK: Mayor’s Challenge (Official Site)

“We’re all in this together,” added Bloomberg.

To participate in the challenge, cities must RSVP by July 16 and submit their final applications for the prize by September 14.

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What do you think of the competition? Do you have an idea for improving life in cities? Sound off in the comments section below.