- Leading Cities and QBE North America have teamed up to launch the QBE AcceliCITY Resilience Challenge, a global competition for startup solution providers.
- The challenge includes two tracks: one for solutions that address resiliency challenges made evident by COVID-19, and one for more general smart city solutions. Anyone is welcome to apply; the winning submission will be one that's impactful and has the potential for global adoption.
- The deadline to submit applications is June 15. Semi-finalists will advance to engage in two months of an online curriculum focused on business-to-government relations, and finalists will attend a boot camp in Boston and a pitch day in New York City. The winner will receive up to $125,000 in cash and additional support to build and implement their solution in cities.
The novel coronavirus pandemic has turned the topic of resiliency into a priority for cities. As governments begin to consider reopening, a concerning question is forcing forward-looking strategies: What if this scale of a pandemic were to happen again?
To prepare governments for future unknowns, a number of cities and organizations have pushed resilience-focused initiatives. Just last week, the Global Resilient Cities Network launched its Cities for a Resilient Recovery initiative, while Roanoke, VA Mayor Sherman Lea announced a "Star City Strong" resiliency plan last week to protect the city amid recovery.
This new initiative from Leading Cities and QBE adds to the list, yet its focus on global solutions helps it shine. The ability to "source solutions from around the world, to vet them, to educate them, and to provide them with [resources]" will be critical to ensuring they're globally applicable, Leading Cities President and CEO Michael Lake told Smart Cities Dive, which in turn can prevent a global pandemic.
Lake has long been an advocate of advancing smart cities. His organization Leading Cities hosts annual competitions to promote smart city solutions through its AcceliCITY and AcceliGOV programs — the 2020 AcceliGOV challenge is focused on cybersecurity in an effort to reduce the risks and costs of city innovation — and also offers expert consulting for governments, companies, academic institutions and nonprofits.
In November 2019, Leading Cities launched its first smart city rating of 500 U.S. cities. The scorecard, developed in collaboration with Bright Cities, used cities' open data to evaluate performance against 32 indicators across 10 dimensions, including governance, environment, health and mobility.
To keep up with all of our coverage on how the new coronavirus is impacting U.S. cities, visit our daily tracker.