September 20 2012
A couple of month's ago I wrote about the Bloomberg Mayors Challenge, which is a contest to find innovative solutions to cities' problems. Milwaukee's Mayor decided to step up to the challenge. Instead of coming of with an idea internally, the mayor look to the citizens of Milwaukee by hosting a pitch event called Tournavation a few weeks ago. The mayor wanted the solutions to address foreclose homes & properties and food security
The winner of the pitch was Gretchen Mead form the Victory Garden Initiative. She competed against 9 other organizations during the pitch. Mead's idea was basically converting foreclosed properties into places for micro urban farming. Mary Louise Schumacher of the Journal Sentinel wrote an article describing the idea in more detail.
"Mead’s idea involves utilizing foreclosed homes and properties for growing food. She recommended that the government-supported program provide land and homes to the unemployed or people facing foreclosure and focus on neighborhoods rife with foreclosures, underutilized lots and low access to fresh fruits and vegetables.
Each homesteader would be given resources for soil development, rainwater harvesting, basic tools and a modest annual stipend, to ensure basic needs are met, according to her idea...
Milwaukeeans would be selected for the program based on need and the ability to grow food and engage their immediate community, according to Mead’s plan. All of the participating homesteaders will be part of a network that will have access to support and education on subjects such as bee keeping, egg production, composting, project management and leadership." (via Art City)
The city of Milwaukee released a video response that incorporates Mead's idea to the Bloomberg Mayors Challenge. You can watch it below, and would love to know what you think in the comments section below.
Milwaukee will be competing with close to 400 other cities for chance to win up to $5 million dollars to execute their ideas. The top 20 finalists will be selected near the end of 2012.