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$1.7 billion Gadget

London dispatch: Bloomberg HQ should not have won this year’s RIBA Stirling Prize
This week, Foster + Partners’ Bloomberg European headquarters in London picked up the 2018 RIBA Stirling Prize, an award ostensibly given to the best building in the U.K., marking the third time Norman Foster's firm has won the award. But was it actually the best piece of architecture on the shortlist of six projects? No. Let me start off by saying that the Bloomberg headquarters is by no means a bad building. The judging panel, chaired by Sir David Adjaye, was right to say the project “pushed the boundaries of research and innovation in architecture." They added in a statement: “Bloomberg has opened up new spaces to sit and breathe in the City,” and went on to laud “the visceral impact of the roof-top view across to St Paul’s from the concourse space,” the office’s helix ramp and its “dynamic new workspaces.” However, all of these listed items of praise are merely examples of pricey green gadgetry and fancy add-ons. While good in their own right, they have not come together well enough to form an exemplary piece of architecture worthy of winning the RIBA Stirling Prize. Inside, amid the myriad of seating, the scheme feels like a glitzy airport at times with stock markets being displayed on screens emulating departure boards. Views out are also hard to come by, besides one panorama of St Paul’s and a vista of the city reserved for Bloomberg's higher-ups as they dine.  The Bloomberg HQ may have also carved a new thoroughfare through this part of London, but it’s hardly space to breathe. The public feels somewhat ushered through the massive slabs of sandstone by undulating bronze fins that dominate the facade, being employed further up to aid air circulation and shun views out in the process. The only spaces where you don’t have to be a paying patron at an establishment to sit are two benches at the site’s southern corner, both of which have seating dividers to prevent rough sleepers. Poor people it seems shouldn’t be allowed to rest when in the presence of a $1.7 billion building. And that’s the project’s biggest issue: money. “Some people say the reason it took almost a decade to build this is because we had a billionaire who wanted to be an architect working with an architect who wanted to be a billionaire,” said former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg at his building’s unveiling. Norman Foster is the U.K.’s wealthiest architect. This year, partners at his firm shared $30.4 million between them, a 43 percent increase on last year despite a downturn in profits and turnover with the company having to lose staff in the process. As critic Oliver Wainwright noted in a tweet, Foster's 'non-resident in the UK for tax purposes' status prevented him from even picking up the award in person. What does all this say about architects and the profession? That to design a good building you must find a client with apparently limitless pockets? That as an architect it is more important to be obscenely wealthy over everything else? Bloomberg’s London HQ is a far cry from last year’s winner, dRMM’s Hastings Pier, which exemplified civic architecture at its best. That delightful scheme made extensive use of timber salvaged from a fire that burned down the previous pier. It was truly a community project. dRMM held close consultations with the public and the charity funding it, and the pier was built for the public of Hastings (and those visiting, of course).   There were far better examples of architecture on this year’s Stirling Prize shortlist too. Take Waugh Thistleton Architects’ Bushey Cemetery for example. Using walls of rammed earth sourced from the site it rests on, the project demonstrates genuine material innovation and manages to convey a sense of weight and be delicate at the same time. Bloomberg, meanwhile, shipped in 600 tons of bronze from Japan and granite from India, and despite the similar earthy tones, feels dauntingly heavy. An example of working wonders when on a budget was also shortlisted: Storey's Field Centre and Eddington Nursery in Cambridge by MUMA. Like Hastings Pier, this was a celebration of civic architecture, with a community center and kindergarten surrounding a landscaped courtyard. “By building at a lower height than approved at planning…Bloomberg shows a high level of generosity towards the City,” the judges commented. In light of this, Jamie Fobert Architects’ Tate St Ives was arguably more adept at concealing space. Buried underground, yet still allowing bucket loads of light in, the museum has somehow doubled in size. It’s a remarkable piece of architectural contortion that keeps locals and the museum happy. Another shortlisted project, Níall McLaughlin Architects’ Sultan Nazrin Shah Centre for the University of Oxford, like the two aforementioned projects, articulated light in spectacular fashion. The project provided a lecture theater, a student learning space, seminar rooms, and a dance studio of immense quality and leads by example the quality of spaces students deserve. London studio Henley Halebrown’s Chadwick Hall student accommodation for the University of Roehampton, the final project on the list, did the same. A win for the project could have sent a message about what the standard of student housing in the U.K. should be. The majority of current student housing stock is dire. With space standards for student housing thrown out of the window due to it being temporary accommodation, the area has become a safe bet for investors looking to cram as many units in for a guaranteed profit. A message, in fact, was sent, coming in explicit form from RIBA President Ben Derbyshire. “This building is a profound expression of confidence in British architecture—and perfectly illustrates why the U.K. is the profession’s global capital,” he said in a statement. “This role and reputation must be maintained, despite the political uncertainty of Brexit.” This, however, feels like a lazy excuse to award a project the Stirling Prize. Defaulting to listing “Brexit” as a reason should not be in the criteria. Neither should sustainability, a high standard of which should be a baseline for all shortlisted projects. Let BREEAM (the U.K. equivalent of LEED) deal with recognizing that. The RIBA Stirling Prize doesn’t have to send any message, though. It just has to recognize the best building, and this it has not done.
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screen time

Morphosis-designed Bloomberg Center at Cornell Tech celebrates opening
Brought to you with support from
With the goal of becoming a net zero building, The Bloomberg Center, designed by Morphosis, forms the heart of the new Cornell Tech campus on Roosevelt Island, bridging academia and industry while pioneering new standards in environmental sustainability through state-of-the-art design.
  • Facade Manufacturer Island Exterior Fabricators
  • Architects Morphosis
  • Facade Installer W&W Glass, LLC (unitized curtain wall); Island Exterior Fabricators; Barr & Barr (general contractor)
  • Facade Consultants ARUP (facade, structural, MEP/FP engineering, sustainability; lighting; acoustical; av/it/smart building)
  • Location Roosevelt Island, New York, NY
  • Date of Completion 2017
  • System unitized continuously insulated rainscreen; photo voltaic solar canopy
  • Products Louvered ZIRA system from A. Zahner Company;  Custom Unitized Curtain Wall; Custom Curved Glass Enclosure
Spearheaded by Morphosis’ Pritzker Prize-winning founder Thom Mayne and principal Ung-Joo Scott Lee, The Bloomberg Center is the intellectual nerve center of the campus, reflecting the school’s joint goals of creativity and excellence by providing academic spaces that foster collective enterprise and collaboration. “The aim of Cornell Tech to create an urban center for interdisciplinary research and innovation is very much in line with our vision at Morphosis, where we are constantly developing new ways to achieve ever-more-sustainable buildings and to spark greater connections among the people who use our buildings. With the Bloomberg Center, we’ve pushed the boundaries of current energy efficiency practices and set a new standard for building development in New York City,” said Morphosis founder and design director Thom Mayne in a press release. The four-story, 160,000-square-foot academic building is named in honor of Emma and Georgina Bloomberg in recognition of a $100-million gift from Michael Bloomberg, who was responsible for bringing Cornell Tech to New York City while serving as the city’s 108th Mayor. A major feature of the building is an expansive photovoltaic canopy, with a low and narrow profile that frames views across the island. One of the building’s most distinctive features is its facade, optimized to balance transparency—maximizing daylighting and exterior views, and opacity—maximizing insulation and reducing thermal bridging. Designed as a rain screen system, the outermost layer of the facade is composed of aluminum panels surfaced in an iridescent, PPG polymer coating. Viewed from afar, the aluminum panels register a continuous image that merges the river-view scenery from Cornell Tech’s Roosevelt Island location and Cornell University’s idyllic campus in Ithaca, New York. Facing the city, the Bloomberg Center’s west facade registers the image of the Manhattan skyline as it is viewed directly across the East River. Along the campus’ main entry and central circulation spine (the “Tech Walk”), the east facade registers an image of Ithaca’s famous gorges. Designed in collaboration with A. Zahner Company, an architectural metal fabricator, the facade utilizes Zahner’s Louvered ZIRA system to create the image patterning. Each pixel of the image is translated into the specific turn-and-tilt of a two-inch circular tab punched into the aluminum paneling; the depth and rotation of each tab determine the amount of light reflected. This pixel map was fed into a repurposed welding robot, which processed the digital information into the mechanical turning-and-tilting of the facade’s 337,500 tabs. The algorithm controlling the robot was developed in collaboration with Cornell and MIT students. “Our collaboration with the Cornell and MIT students to develop the building’s facade is an example of the type of connections that Cornell Tech will foster between academia and tech industries,” said Ung-Joo Scott Lee, Principal at Morphosis and Project Principal of the Bloomberg Center. “We were ultimately interested in demonstrating that designing for net-zero creates not only a more energy efficient building but, in fact, a healthier and more comfortable environment for its occupants. The very systems that provide our path to high building performance are the same systems that provide better control to its users while giving the building its distinct identity. Cornell University’s leadership in sustainability is central to their mission; we look to continue that leadership in both upstate as well as downstate campuses.”
Morphosis will be participating in the upcoming Facades+ Los Angeles conference on October 19 to 20, 2017. Stan Su, who contributed to Bloomberg Center as a member of Morphosis’ Advanced Technology team, will be co-presenting a morning workshop along with Brad Prestbo (Director of Technical Resources, Sasaki Associates), Chris O'Hara (Founding Principal, Facades Director, Studio NYL). The workshop will be divided up into three parts: a group discussion on fundamental detailing principals, case study examples of how those principles are employed, and a hands-on session where the group will reverse-engineer details from notable projects.
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$200 Million

Michael Bloomberg pledges to fund new American Cities Initiative
Speaking today at the United States Conference of Mayors in Miami, New York City’s former mayor, Michael Bloomberg, released plans for a $200 million program that will help fund innovative policy changes at the city level, as first reported by The New York Times. The program, called the American Cities Initiative, is funded through Bloomberg Philanthropies and will take place over the next three years. It’s a municipally-focused extension of Bloomberg’s existing advocacy for national policies, including climate change, gun violence, public health, and immigration. “You can argue that if people in cities use less energy, the coal-fired power plants outside the cities would pollute the air less,” he told the Times. “You can make the case that immigration is a city issue, because that’s where a lot of people live and work.” One of the major components of the initiative is a “Mayors Challenge,” a national competition where city mayors are invited to submit proposals for policy experimentation that addresses their respective city’s most urgent problems. The grand prize? $5 million. Four more cities will receive up to $1 million and 35 ‘Champion Cities’ will win up to $100,000 to test their ideas and build local support, according to the challenge’s website. Bloomberg has launched similar competitions before, but in Europe and Latin America. The former mayor has constantly been an aggressive advocate against President Donald Trump’s policies, especially regarding issues around climate change and immigration. In June, Bloomberg vowed to fight climate change in spite of Trump’s decision to pull out of the Paris Climate Accord by pledging $15 million to the United Nations and gathering support at the city level. At the conference, Bloomberg said that the program is meant to "advance important policies and legislation particularly with respect to education, climate change, and public health,” according to Miami Patch. The support will vary by city; in some cases, it could be policy support to help improve energy efficiency, while others could be in the form of advocacy. This program comes at a crucial time when the Trump administration has proposed major funding cuts to government agencies, including the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), which cities usually rely on for money. In his interview with the Times, Bloomberg emphasized the increasing need for cities to “replace Washington, and in some cases, state governments, to provide services.”
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Stand Up Guy

Michael Bloomberg practices his architecture humor at the Architectural League of New York

Former mayor Michael Bloomberg was honored with the medal at the recent black-tie Architectural League of New York President’s Medal Dinner at the Metropolitan Club. He gave a spirited acceptance speech, including a few zingers. “The only way to express my gratitude is to tell you the one architect joke I know: Two beavers were swimming in the water below the Hoover Dam. And one beaver turned to the other and asked: ‘Did you build that?’ and the other one said, ‘No, but it’s based on my design.’”

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The Architectural League of New York to award President’s Medal to former mayor Bloomberg
The architecture, design, art and urbanism nonprofit the Architectural League of New York has announced the winner of its annual President's Medal. The League will award the 2016 prize to former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg, who currently serves as the UN Secretary-General’s special envoy for cities and climate change. “We honor Michael Bloomberg for his long-term vision for New York and the world’s cities, and his continuing work to address local, national, and global issues,” said Billie Tsien, president of the League in a statement. One major and well-known art and design project Bloomberg helped approve was the temporary site-specific work, Christo and Jeanne-Claude's The Gates, in Central Park. The award comes after Bloomberg considered running for president as an Independent, but decided it wasn’t feasible. “In a three-way race, it’s unlikely any candidate would win a majority of electoral votes, and then the power to choose the president would be taken out of the hands of the American people and thrown to Congress,” he wrote in the Bloomberg View early this month. (He still hasn’t announced who he will endorse.) Past recipients include Renzo Piano, Ada Louise Huxtable, Richard Serra, Robert Venturi and Denise Scott Brown. The League is also known for its Emerging Voices competition that honors leading young firms and designers based in the U.S., Mexico, and Canada working in creative fields related to the built environment. They will present the President's Medal at a fundraiser dinner this April. On a side note: if you are a student or recent graduate in architecture, architectural history, or urban studies, do check out the Deborah J. Norden Fund travel grant opportunity (up to $5,000) that closes April 22.
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Bloomberg News Cuts Cultural Coverage Including Architecture Critic James Russell
The every diminishing ranks of architecture critics suffered another loss, as Bloomberg News cut James Russell's column, as a part of a larger reorganization/elimination of its cultural coverage. According to a post on Russell's personal blog, Bloomberg is focusing on luxury and lifestyle coverage over arts and culture coverage. When Russell was brought on it signaled to many that digital publishing could possibly begin supporting criticism as print newspapers once had. But that was not to be. Prior to Bloomberg, Russel worked as an editor at Architectural Record for nearly 20 years. He is a registered architect and the author, most recently, of The Agile City: Building Well-Being and Wealth in the Age of Climate ChangeHe also teaches in the architecture program at City College.
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Michael Bloomberg Appointed UN Climate & Cities Envoy
bloomberg-speaks-01 Just one month after leaving office, Michael Bloomberg (pictured) has been appointed a United Nations special envoy for cities and climate change. According to Reuters, U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said Bloomberg will help “raise political will and mobilize action among cities as part of his long-term strategy to advance efforts on climate change.” The former mayor is Johannesburg, South Africa this week for the fifth biennial C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group Mayors Summit. Bloomberg is the President of C40’s board, which is a “a network of the world’s megacities taking action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.” This year’s conference is focused on creating liveable and sustainable cities. (Photo: Spencer T. Tucker )
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Bloomberg’s Policy Roadshow
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and NYC DOT Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan.
Courtesy NYC Mayor's Office

New Yorkers can stop scratching their heads over how outbound Mayor Michael Bloomberg will spend his time once he leaves office in a few weeks. As The New York Times revealed this weekend, the Mayor and over half-a-dozen of his top aides will be taking their show on the road with a roving city-government-for-hire. Dubbed the Bloomberg Associates, this all-star “urban SWAT team,” funded entirely by Bloomberg’s own billion-dollar pockets, will assist and reshape urban areas across the globe by helping local governments tackle troublesome, long-term challenges, entirely free of charge.

Headed by George A. Feritta, the chief executive of NYC tourism agency, the newly formed team plans to work with four to six cities a year to export and adapt strategies developed under the 11-year Bloomberg administration to struggling urban centers. From relatively affordable initiatives like smoking and trans-fat bans, bike lines, and pop-up pedestrian plazas, to larger policy shifts in the realms of environmental sustainability, economic development, security and law enforcement, the charitable consulting agency will tailor Made-in-New-York measures to cities “from Louisville, KY to Mexico City,” according to the Times. With an annual budget reportedly in the tens of millions and nothing to ask for in return from local municipalities, one can be sure their services will be in high demand.

While the organization’s staff will eventually reach around 25 personnel, only a few high-profile deputies have been announced thus far. On board are Amanda M. Burden, Director of City Planning, Janette Sadik-Kahn, Commissioner of Transportation, Kathrin Oliver, Commissioner of Media and Entertainment, and Kate D. Levin, Commissioner of Cultural Affairs, with the possible addition of Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly, suggested by the Times.

The organization will work closely with Bloomberg Philanthropies, the Mayor’s colossal charitable foundation, and will be housed side-by-side within a large townhouse around the corner from the Mayor’s Upper East Side home.

“We have heard this huge demand and need from other cities to learn from New York City,” Burden told the Times. “Under this Mayor, New York is the epitome that cities look to of how to get things done.”

This won’t be the first time that Bloomberg will have lent his big-city governing expertise to other mayors and urban administrations. Last year, New Orleans Mayor Mitchell J. Landrieu received a $4.2 million Innovation Delivery Team grant from Bloomberg Philanthropies to help the city implement new measures to combat its surging murder rate. As a result of this effort, which included a newly created team to address gang activity and a midnight baseball league to occupy trouble-prone young men, the city’s murder rate has fallen 17 percent.

The mission of the Bloomberg Associates formally establishes the Mayor’s long-touted beliefs that investment in cities is becoming ever more crucial as urban populations continue to grow, providing a platform for the businessman-turned-urban-advocate to spread his most successful, if still debated, policies to the cities that need them most.

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Contesting the Bloomberg Legacy
The occupiers of Manhattan's Zuccotti Park were closely monitored and slowly pushed out by hte Bloomberg administration.
Michelle Lee/Flickr

Now that Michael Bloomberg’s third and final term is about to end journalists and editors are rolling out scores of articles on his legacy and the future of Gotham. There is little question that during his mayoralty New York changed physically more than it had in many years and architects and designers were more influential than anytime since John Lindsay. The degree to which Bloomberg’s department heads like David Burney, Amanda Burden, and Janette Sadik-Khan made design an important aspect of physical growth and change is probably unprecedented in any American city at least since Robert Moses dominated development in New York. A major narrative in most of these articles is the uneven development that occurred during the period as most of these physical changes and improvements were concentrated in affluent Manhattan and the Brooklyn and Queens waterfronts—facing Manhattan. It is clear that most of the achievements of the period—like the High Line, the new parklets created on odd bits of left over streetscape along Broadway, designated bike lanes, and even bike sharing—were heavily weighted towards improving Manhattan and gentrified areas of Brooklyn and Queens. If one looks to areas like Brownsville, Crotona, or the Southeast Bronx, it is hard to find the Bloomberg initiatives having made little or any improvements to the streetscapes.

But not mentioned in these articles is the degree to which this administration marginalized (though this began under Rudolph Giuliani) the City Planning Commission, once a major player in development decisions and ensuring equity in planning. This neglect of official planning during the period may explain some of the more obvious blunders of the period, including the mayor’s half-baked, developer-focused 2030 plan; the ill-fated (but happily defeated) West Side Stadium proposal; and the disappointing high-rise development now taking place along the Brooklyn waterfront.

This is not to say that some planning was not undertaken during the Bloomberg era, such as the resiliency efforts highlighted in our feature story “The Nuanced Approach” points out. In fact, park and open space development is probably the most physically obvious transformation that took place in the last 11 1/2 years. The new Brooklyn Bridge and Governors Island Parks and the carefully detailed changes along Newtown Creek in Brooklyn and the Hudson River edge in Manhattan (though mostly financed through a structurally dubious private public partnership model embraced by the mayor) will take their place alongside the great Olmsted and Moses open spaces.

Galen Cranz points out in her writings on urban parks in America that the last time designers were involved in park design, the period she labels “the open space system” of the late 1950s through the 1970s, they primarily created plazas fronting corporate offices and did not always put the public in the foreground. Their spaces had mixed results as we can witness up and down Park Avenue. But in assessing open space design in the period one must also consider not just the security zone created around areas like Wall Street and the World Trade Center, but the reaction of the Bloomberg administration to the occupiers in Zuccotti Park, who were given some latitude to protest but were closely monitored and slowly pushed out of the area until the movement faded. Finally, one must consider The Gramsci Monument created this past summer by the Swiss artist Thomas Hirschhorn in the Forest Houses NYCHA project in the Morrisania section of the Bronx. In its collaborative design, Gramsci seemed to use space to fight back against the model of public space as a site for leisure, framing it as one where death and scission is encouraged and allowed to flourish. In the end, this may have been the most important new model of public space created during the Bloomberg era, and its strength was its opposition to the notion of parks as primarily sites of leisure, and its promotion of them as sites for discussion and protest—the kinds of spaces the city desperately needs today.

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Bloomberg Urges New Yorkers to Take the Stairs
When confronted with the option to ride the elevator or muster up enough energy to walk up multiple flights of steps to a destination, most of us opt for the elevator. But according to the Bloomberg Administration, we might choose differently when surrounded by a built environment that encourages physical activity. In response to our country’s mounting obesity crisis, Mayor Bloomberg has recently changed design standards, launching a new series of pro-health and anti-obesity initiatives that promote physical activity in buildings and public spaces. The plan comprises of three main elements. The first is the creation of The Center for Active Design, a non-profit organization that fights obesity and chronic disease such as diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and certain cancers, by implementing active design strategies in the construction of buildings, streets, and neighborhoods. This was accompanied by an Executive Order that Mayor Bloomberg signed on June 27th obliging all city agencies to incorporate smart design strategies that promote physical activity in new construction and renovation projects. Finally, Bloomberg has proposed two acts of legislation to the City Council that promote access to stairways in all major construction projects by hanging signs on walls and near elevators that recommend taking the stairs. These efforts are the latest in the Mayor’s campaign to urge New Yorkers to live a healthier lifestyle. Past initiatives include his ban on cigarette smoking in bars, restaurants, and outdoor public spaces, prohibiting restaurants to use trans fats, and forcing food chains to include calorie counts on their menus. The Bloomberg Administration firmly believes that by making stairways more visibly accessible people will feel more inclined to use them, by beautifying our streetscapes more people will be encouraged to walk or ride a bicycle to work, and by creating public spaces conducive to physical activity people will feel inspired to get outdoors, exercise, and live a healthier lifestyle.
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Via Verde 2.0? Bloomberg Seeks Developer For Last City-Owned Lots in the Bronx
With his time in office coming to a close, Mayor Bloomberg is moving swiftly ahead with his administration’s affordable housing plan, and calling on developers to submit proposals to build on the last sizable stretch of vacant city-owned land in the Melrose and HUB area of the South Bronx. The NYC Department of Housing Preservation & Development (HPD) is overseeing the Bronxchester Project, and yesterday announced a Request for Proposal (RFP) to develop two parcels into affordable housing and mixed-use space. In the last decade, a wave of new affordable housing developments have taken root in Melrose, a neighborhood destroyed by the arson epidemic in the 1970s and then essentially deserted in the 1980s. “Not long ago it was a rarity to see new affordable homes being constructed in a neighborhood littered with abandoned buildings and rubble strewn lots. What we now see are thousands of new affordable homes and apartments that have laid a foundation for stability and growth in this community; today this is the new normal,” said HPD Commissioner Mathew M. Wambua in a statement. The Bronxchester Project will join other like-developments, such as the Grimshaw-designed Via Verde housing complex and the sprawling Melrose Commons Urban Renewal Area, which has added over 2,800 residential units to the neighborhood. The parameters of the project are fairly flexible: Developers have the option to submit proposals for one or two parcels, but must include mixed-income housing, open space, and commercial space or a community facility.  The RFP deadline is July 3, 2013.
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Providence Takes Top Award in Bloomberg Mayors Challenge
Bloomberg Philanthropies has announced the winners of its Mayors Challenge, a competition meant to generate innovative ideas for the improvement of city life. Out of the 300 cities that submitted proposals, the giving institution created by New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg gave the Grand Prize for Innovation to Providence, RI, and its mayor, Angel Taveras. The city was awarded $5 million to implement its project, what Bloomberg Philanthropies called a "cutting-edge early education initiative." Under the initiative, participating children will wear a recording device home that will monitor the conversations they have with their parents or other adults. The transcripts of these conversations will then be used to develop weekly coaching sessions in which government monitors or someone will coach the grownups on how better to speak with their children. Bloomberg Philanthropies said it selected the "revolutionary approach" for the way it uses "proven technologies to measure vocabulary exposure in low-income households and help[s] parents close the word gap." Hello Big Brother! But, then, it's not a surprising choice coming from the man who has recently tried to ban jumbo sodas, did ban smoking in public places, and ordered the erection of signs at fast food restaurants telling consumers just how fat they're about to become. Chicago, Houston, Philadelphia, and Santa Monica also made the top five list, each taking away $1 million to put toward the implementation of their own proposals. Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel plans to build a data system to help city leaders make better decisions to prevent problems before they happen. Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter will launch a new procurement process to make it easier for entrepreneurs and "social innovators" to answer RFPs. Santa Monica is developing an index to measure well-being and thereby make it part of policy making. Houston walked away with the Fan Favorite prize, which added $50,000 to its purse. This prize was co-sponsored by the Huffington Post and resulted from 58,000 votes. Bayou City mayor Annise Parker is developing a one-bin recycling program, or One Bin For All, as it is called. The measure will save citizens the nuisance of sorting their refuse. Instead, recyclables will be separated from regular garbage at transfer facilities, with the goal of recycling 75 percent of all waste. Houston is currently seeking a private company to partner with on the project. In addition to the money, each of the five members will receive a trophy designed by international art star Olafur Eliasson. While no image of the trophy was available at blog time, a description was: "The Mayors Challenge Prize for Innovation award is a spherical sculpture formed by three concentric circles—square, circle, and dodecagon—encircling a hanging compass. The compass indicates steadily north, uniting the prize winners and assisting viewers in imagining their collective responsibility to navigate towards the greater good for all."