City Launches Strong Cities, Strong Communities Challenge

The city of Las Vegas is proud to announce the launch of its Strong Cities, Strong Communities (SC2) Challenge, a prestigious international competition that will award $900,000 in prizes for the most innovative, creative, and transformational economic development plans to help revitalize targeted areas within the city.  The SC2 Challenge is federally funded by a $1 million grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA). It was awarded in 2012 to three U.S. cities:  Las Vegas, Nevada; Greensboro, North Carolina; and Hartford, Connecticut.

The goal of the competition is to assist participating cities, including Las Vegas, in cultivating well-conceived, innovative ideas to revitalize four targeted areas within the community:  Cashman Center, the Las Vegas Medical District, business parks, and existing Redevelopment projects.

”Participating in the Strong Cities, Strong Communities Challenge is exciting for our city,” said Carolyn G. Goodman, mayor of the city of Las Vegas.  “Las Vegas is known for its big, larger-than-life personality, so seeking big, out-of-the-box ideas is right in sync with our culture.  We consider it a privilege to tap into the best and brightest minds globally and look forward to receiving some exciting, dynamic and innovative plans that will help specific areas of our city thrive and grow.”

The city is reaching far and wide to solicit the most qualified multidisciplinary teams in the fields of land planning, urban design and other related fields to participate in this SC2 Challenge. The list of potential candidates includes leading professional firms and universities locally, regionally, and globally. This local and international approach to outreach will ensure the best and brightest have the chance at the $500,000 grand prize; and Las Vegas will have several top notch economic redevelopment ideas at its disposal.

Winning plans must match Las Vegas’s needs, offer a feasible roadmap toward implementation, and represent innovative perspectives on economic development. Every winning idea or plan garnered from this SC2 competition can be pursued by the city at any time, so every cash winner will contribute to the pool of ideas for the city’s consideration.   
The competition will be divided into two phases: 

  • During phase one, multidisciplinary teams will submit economic vision proposals to the city of Las Vegas for one of the four target areas.
  • The top three proposals, as scored by members of an evaluation panel, will be submitted to the Las Vegas City Council to approve the receipt of cash prizes of $60,000 (1st place), $30,000 (2nd place), and $10,000(3rd place), respectively. They and any other selected finalists will advance to phase two.
  • In phase two, finalists’ ideas will be expanded into comprehensive economic development plans for formal presentation and review by an esteemed panel of judges. Winners will be chosen from the finalists to receive prizes from the total phase two pool of $800,000 – no strings attached.
The winning finalists are available to receive any of the following cash rewards (pending Las Vegas City Council approval):
  • 1st place:  $500,000
  • 2nd place:  $100,000
  • 3rd place:  $75,000
  • 4th place:  $50,000
  • 5th place:  $50,000
  • 6th place:  $25,000

Phase one winners will be announced in November 2014, and the phase two winners will be selected in May 2015. 

For more information on the Las Vegas Strong Cities, Strong Communities Challenge, please visit