The Challenge: Beach and water quality in Long Beach have improved dramatically in recent years (from a 'fail' in 2007 to all beaches receiving 'A' grades in 2015). Yet despite such improvements, a reputation for poor water quality persists. While some areas are well-known and heavily used—such as the inner bay known for open water swimming, kayaking, and stand up paddle—others do not attract as many users. Coupled with the fact that Long Beach is not an ideal place to surf due to limited wave action, local beaches are not as well used as those of neighboring cities to the north and south. By enhancing the waterfront the city aims to cultivate a more positive image of its beaches, making the waterfront an asset that is enjoyed by more local residents and visitors and will contribute to local economic development.

The Opportunity: Long Beach has six-miles of beaches and boasts over 300 days of sunshine a year. As part of the City’s work to promote livability by making the city more walkable, bikeable, and swimmable, the City is seeking creative and insightful solutions to strengthen the beach as a neighborhood asset for everyday use, increase the number of special events and activities, shift the public’s perception of water quality, and encourage more active use of the water. The challenge takes the form of a Request for Information (RFI), issued to obtain basic knowledge from organizations that provide such solutions. Responses to this RFI will inform a future Request for Proposals (RFP) that will be issued at the conclusion of the research phase.

Who can participate: The opportunity is open to anyone with a strategy, solution or idea on how Long Beach can kick start more use of the city's beaches.  This can range from social entrepreneurs, engineers, innovation consultants, artists, city officials, software developers, to general innovation and technology enthusiasts working locally or internationally.