10/100/1000: What's the Big Idea?

When Creative Loafing joined with Creative Tampa Bay to kick off The 10/100/1000 Challenge in January, we decided that the announcement of the 10 finalists (include the $1,000 winner) would be an apt centerpiece for CL's annual Green Issue.

Why green? It wasn't as if we'd asked for proposals that were "green," per se, when we called on readers to share their ideas on how to make Tampa Bay a better place to live. "Environment" was one of the categories entrants could choose, but so were "Arts & Culture," "Communication," "Education & Youth," "Food & Nutrition," "Housing," "Jobs," "Neighborhoods," "Transportation" and "Other."

We expected, though, no matter what suggestions came in, that they would all point toward making the region more nourishing, more balanced, more sustainable — all "green" outcomes.

And that's exactly the kind of ideas we received. More than 80 proposals were submitted, widely spread across all categories (with Arts & Culture drawing the most entries and Communication the least). Ideas for children's programs, for bicyclists, for recycling, for restaurants, for gardens, for arts organizations, for festivals, for improved transit systems, even for out-of-work Realtors — in all, a fair cross-section of Tampa Bay life, each of the applicants demonstrating both a passion for our region and the belief that it could be so much better.

Four judges considered the applications, all of us present or past board members of Creative Tampa Bay: architect Kenneth Cowart, organizer of PechaKucha Night in Tampa; marketing and communications strategist Julia Gorzka, founder of BrandTampa.com; Peter Kageyama, author of For the Love of Cities and founder of Creative Cities Summit; and myself, editor of Creative Loafing. We considered the proposals for feasibility, preparedness and originality, but most of all we sought projects that could, with CTB's relatively modest award of $1,000, be game-changers in some way for Tampa Bay — touching lives and transforming the place where we live.

We narrowed down our top choices to 10 (though we could easily have named 20 or 30), with the biggest readers' vote-getter, The Roosevelt 2.0, automatically winning a spot in the 10. After additional research, multiple emails and a beer-and-pizza session at New World Brewery, we chose a winner.

CTB and CL are considering whether to continue the 10/100 initiative — perhaps even extend it not just 100 but 1,000 days (the duration of the 10/100/1000 project in Worcester, Massachusetts that inspired us). We'd love to hear your thoughts. Leave a comment on our Facebook page, or email me at [email protected].

And consider this: If you like any of the finalists' ideas, or any of those still on view at cltampa.com/ten100, get in touch. I'm sure they'd welcome your support.

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