155 European cities join Bloomberg ideas contest

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Associated Press

Posted on February 19, 2014 at 5:01 AM

Updated Wednesday, Feb 19 at 6:02 AM

Unemployment, energy efficiency and obesity are the top concerns targeted by some 155 European cities competing to out-innovate each other in a lucrative contest launched by former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

His foundation gave an update Wednesday on its first-time European contest. The application deadline was Jan. 31.

Bloomberg Philanthropies says the cities span 28 countries and include 19 capitals, from Dublin, Ireland, to Ankara (AHN'-kuh-ruh), Turkey. There also are plenty of smaller cities: Nearly half the applicants are home to 250,000 or fewer people.

The cities were asked for ideas that solve major social or economic problems or make government more effective. Bloomberg Philanthropies says 12 percent focused on tackling unemployment and workforce development, 9 percent on energy issues, 7 percent on obesity and 5 percent on aging.

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