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How the Bloomberg Mayors Challenge Is Being Received in Europe

Pretty well, actually. 
Former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg participates in an “innovation and inspiration” discussion with Berlin-based SoundCloud CEO & Co-founder Alexander Ljung at Bloomberg’s Ideas Camp, held in Berlin.
Former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg participates in an “innovation and inspiration” discussion with Berlin-based SoundCloud CEO & Co-founder Alexander Ljung at Bloomberg’s Ideas Camp, held in Berlin. Bloomberg Philanthropies

BERLIN—Can a U.S. organization really tell Europe how to run its cities better?

Frustrated by local limitations, Americans can have a rather romantic view of European city governments, imagining them as endlessly generous, proactive bodies that dole out tramlines, bike paths and social housing like so many handfuls of Halloween candy. While this is far from the truth, the decision to transplant the Bloomberg Philanthropies Mayors Challenge from the USA to Europe this year may still have raised some eyebrows. Following a successful inaugural challenge last year, the city innovation contest crossed the Atlantic in 2014, winnowing down European applicant cities to a shortlist of 21*, all of whom attended a two-day Ideas Camp staged in Berlin earlier this month.