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Forum Thread: FAQ

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Posted on: 1/17/14 4:57 PM

User 99D3
Joined: 6/1/2012
Posts: 234
SC2 Frequently Asked Questions

What is SC2?


  • The Strong Cities, Strong Communities Challenge is a federally developed incentive-based competition, funded through a $1M grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development (EDA) Administration.  The grant was awarded in September 2012 to three US cities:  Las Vegas, Nevada; Greensboro, North Carolina; and Hartford, Connecticut.


  • The goal of the competition is to assist cities with procuring highly innovative, creative and transformational ideas from qualified teams comprised of experts in various fields that support economic development. Teams can come from anywhere in the world to help revitalize targeted areas within each of the recipient cities. 


  • Each recipient city received from EDA $1M for the program. Las Vegas is allocating $900,000 as prize money to incent top professionals and teams to participate.  The remaining $100,000 is designated for marketing and administration. 


  • From now through May 2015, the city will host a public competition in which multidisciplinary teams are invited to develop a comprehensive economic vision in one of four categories:
    • Cashman Center
    • Las Vegas Medical District
    • Business Parks
    • Existing Redevelopment Agency Projects


  • The top ideas will be ranked by a panel of judges appointed by the city. Following final approval by the Las Vegas City Council, the top three winners will receive $10,000 for third place, $30,000 for second place, and $60,000 for first place.


  • Each of the three winners and other designated finalists will advance to phase two of the competition. In the second phase, these multidisciplinary teams expand on their original ideas for the chance to win a total of $800,000 in prizes – no strings attached.


    Who can participate?


  • Only qualified and experienced multidisciplinary teams will be considered for this competition. The city will reach far and wide to solicit the most qualified participants in the fields of land planning and urban design from both the private sector and academia. We will also target potential competitors locally and regionally.


  • According to developers of this competition, research indicates that participants increase their chances of success by joining with team members who do not ordinarily focus their attention on economic planning, but who have specific experience and skills that readily transfer from one field to another. 


    What is the timeframe of the competition?


  • The Las Vegas SC2 Challenge officially kicks off February 5, 2014. Phase one winners will be announced in November 2014 and the prize winners of phase two will be selected in May 2015.


    Why is the timeframe so long?


  • The phase one timeline is eight months. That allows the teams time to recruit members and draft their creative, unique ideas for Las Vegas.


  • Phase two is five months. That gives the finalists time to expand on their ideas and prepare a formal presentation for the Selection Committee.


  • There is also a couple months built in to allow for administrative work to be completed.


    Why is the grand prize $500k and not a contract to build?


  • Strong Cities, Strong Communities (SC2) is a federal program, and that is how the program is designed. Some of the city council members had the same question, but recipient cities have no say in the award allocation. We had an opportunity to participate as a grant recipient, and as such, we have no control over how the prize money can be used.  We view this as an amazing opportunity to collect many innovative ideas for our city from some of the best minds in the fields of urban planning and design and other disciplines.


    Is there a guarantee that the chosen project will get built?


  • The city is hoping to get some great ideas from this competition. The overall goal is to have plans that are ready for implementation when funding becomes available. The city will own all plans and proposals that are awarded cash prizes.
  • Cultivating well-conceived, creative and innovative ideas and plans is the whole basis for this incentive-based competition. This competition is designed to generate strong participation from qualified candidates/teams.


    How will the city select the judging committee and who will likely select the winners?


  • SC2 Las Vegas judges have been chosen for their knowledge of our community, their level of expertise, or their passion for seeing and helping Las Vegas prosper.



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