A look at government innovation contest finalists

Associated Press Modified: November 5, 2012 at 6:16 pm •  Published: November 5, 2012

— Lexington, Ky. — A system that analyzes data on how the city is doing, in areas ranging from crime to jobs, and invites volunteers to suggest solutions and even implement them.

— Milwaukee — Designating many of some 4,000 city-owned vacant lots and foreclosed homes for urban agriculture and urban homesteading.

— Philadelphia: Engaging entrepreneurs in framing social challenges and seeking solutions;

— Phoenix: Create 15 "smart-energy districts," using a matrix of options such as energy efficiency, renewable energy and other choices.

— Providence, R.I. — Use new technology and state home visitation services to equip every family in the city to measure children's household auditory environment and close vocabulary deficits in real time.

— Saint Paul, Minn. — Streamlining the permit application process for residents, developers, and businesses, in a way inspired by TurboTax.

— San Francisco — Matching job-seekers with volunteering opportunities on city projects to create efficiencies and promote workforce development.

— Santa Monica, Calif. — Create a wellbeing index to reorient the definition of success, seeking to achieve a measurable wellbeing increase in five years.

— Springfield, Ore. — A plan to provide universal, cost-effective access to primary healthcare through the development of mobile primary care units, staffed 24 hours a day.

— Syracuse, N.Y. — Create an "International village" to welcome and create economic opportunities for refugees and other immigrants, while channeling investment into an area of underutilized residential and commercial buildings.