There were 394 cities entered in Bloomberg's Mayors Challenge, but only 20 made it to the finals—Philadelphia included. Philly's successful entry was generated after more than 20,000 city employees contributed ideas, and then narrowed down to 80 projects.
A panel of senior staffers and external experts whittled the pool to seven contestants, according to Porter, and then watched an "America's Got Talent kind of competition where we invited all of the seven ideas in to give a brief ten minute presentation to panel." We are having a really good time imagining urban innovators compete on America's Got Talent. To the right, chief of staff to the deputy mayor of economic development Luke Butler, who worked on the winning proposal, presents the winning idea.
· Mayors Challenge Finalists Announced [Next American City]