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São Paulo wins Bloomberg challenge with idea to connect farmers and consumers

São Paulo wants to help farmers on its perimeter sell organic produce in urban markets and restaurants. (R.M. Nunes /

São Paulo was named the 2016 grand prize winner of the Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Latin American and Caribbean Mayors Challenge.

The financial and business hub of Brazil will receive US$5 million to help farmers on its perimeter sell organic produce in São Paulo’s markets and restaurants, the announcement says. The initiative could prevent many struggling farmers from selling their land, which enables sprawl that can poison local water supplies.

Four other municipalities will receive US$1 million each to implement their proposals. The five were selected from 290 entries in 19 countries following a year-long competitive process. The winners share some common attributes, including reliance on data, technology and partnerships and an emphasis on citizen needs, the philanthropy says.

Two of the runners up are focused on helping young people. Bogotá aims to make school commutes safer and shorter with dedicated bus lanes, bike sharing and other changes. Santiago, Chile hopes to incentivize classrooms to adopt healthier eating and lifestyle habits through reward-based competitions.

Two other projects plan to root out corruption. Guadalajara will foster transparency about building permits with a new public website. Medellín will introduce neighborhood loan funds to dissuade loan sharks who rip off the poor. 

Bloomberg Philanthropies

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