Flint is one of three Cities to win $75,000 for Effectively Collaborating with Citizens to Solve Problems
Flint, MI (October 28, 2019) â€“ Cities of Service announced today at CityLab DC Flint as one of three winners of the Engaged Cities Award. The award recognizes cutting-edge techniques to engage residents to solve problems. Flint was recognized for demonstrating leadership in citizen engagement, working with their residents to develop and implement bold, new strategies that address long-standing challenges.
In response to significant property blight caused by a massive decline in population, the city created the Flint Property Portal, which allows residents to easily report information on properties. Data collected through the portal enabled the city to receive a $60 million blight elimination grant through the U.S. Treasury Hardest Hit Fund. The grant funds have been used to demolish more than 4,000 blighted structures in Flint. The city planted low-growing clover in the cleared lots, which significantly diminishes maintenance needs and costs. Community members have since submitted more than 120,000 property messages through the portal, including self-reporting maintenance for 690 vacant lots. The Portal is free and accessible via both a website and a mobile app.
â€śBy partnering with residents to collect data for their property portal, Flint is adding capacity and gaining Â Â Â valuable knowledge they would not otherwise have,â€ť said Myung J. Lee, Cities of Service Executive Director. â€śIn the process, they are also strengthening relationships between the city and its people, building trust, and strengthening democracy.â€ť
Cities of Service began a decade ago and has worked with hundreds of cities to involve citizens in creative and effective ways. Underwritten by Bloomberg Philanthropies, the Engaged Cities Award shines light on the growing number of ways city leaders are co-creating the future with their residents. Cities of Service will amplify the winning solutions and create blueprints for each solution, enabling cities around the world to learn from, adopt, and improve upon them.
â€śWe are so excited and proud to be a recipient of the Engaged Cities award. Citizen engagement is a cornerstone of the work we are doing and the property portal helps ensure that work is transparent and accessible to all of our residents. It is truly a privilege to be representing our great city at City Lab 2019 and an honor to be recognized for the transformative work our residents are undertaking.â€ť, said Mayor Weaver.
Cities of Service received more than 100 applications from cities in the Americas and Europe for this yearâ€™s Engaged Cities Award. The winners were selected based on key selection criteria, including significant work with citizens to tackle a public problem, evidence of impact, and potential to apply the strategy to other issues and geographies. Each winning city receives a prize of $75,000 that can be used at their discretion in support of furthering the cityâ€™s efforts to engage their citizens to tackle problems.
The Engaged Cities Award was open to cities with populations of 30,000+ in the Americas and Europe. Cities submitted their applications in January 2019. Cities of Service, along with an esteemed group of experts, chose three winning cities. Winners were announced as part of CityLab in Washington, D.C.
For more information about the Cities of Service Engaged Cities Award, please visit: engagedcitiesaward.org
About Cities of Service
Cities of Service is a nonprofit organization that helps mayors build stronger cities by changing the way local government and citizens work together. We help our coalition cities tap into citizen insights, skills, and service to identify and solve critical public problems. Founded in 2009 by New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, Cities of Service supports a coalition of more than 270 cities, representing more than 83 million people across the Americas and Europe. Visit us at citiesofservice.org and follow us on Twitter @citiesofservice.