Every year, The Conference of Mayors City Livability Program, which is sponsored by Waste Management, Inc., awards 10 mayors and their cities for developing programs that improve the livability of urban areas.
Every city in the United States is eligible to nominate one or more city management programs. All programs initiated by the city government are eligible, including those developed and implemented in conjunction with private sector and/or community group participation. There are two population categories: cities of fewer than 100,000 people and cities of 100,000 or more residents. In order to nominate a program, cities have to simply prepare a brief description of an outstanding and/or innovative program that has been developed either recently or in the past, but is still currently operating.
2012 City of Livability Award winner highlights:
- West Palm Beach, Fl-Mayor Jeri Muoio-Career Catalyst Program: Career Catalyst is a skills and career-motivating program created by Mandel Public Library that was designed to connect unemployed residents with a variety of resources to increase access to employment opportunities and needed job skills.
- Schaumburg, IL-Mayor Al Larson-Intergenerational Produce Garden: A community garden that allows seniors, teens, and preschoolers to come together and get involved in planting, garden maintenance, and harvesting produce. An interesting highlight of the garden is the wide pathways throughout and raised beds that increase accessibility, and in turn involvement.
- Louisville, KY-Mayor Greg Fischer-Mayor’s “Give A Day” Week: This program was organized to challenge the Louisville community to set the world’s record for volunteering. In order to accomplish this goal, “Give A Day” week was created, and residents of all ages were encouraged to volunteer. The city far exceeded its goal!
How to Use
First, this is a great awards program for mayors to consider for their community. It provides a goal for communities to increase their livability. Beyond this, however, the award winners detailed on the website provide examples of great projects already in place in other communities, that can serve as ideas for any local officials and planners interested in increasing the livability in their area.