The city of New Bedford is in the running for a five million dollar grand prize in a competition that's looking for innovative solutions to urban problems.  The city recently submitted its proposal to the Bloomberg Mayor's Challenge.  Mayor Jon Mitchell says New Bedford is suggesting the use of computer models to creatively attack the problem of vacant lots in the city.

New Bedford currently has about 1500 vacant lots, and developed its proposal working with Stoss Landscape Urbanism of Boston.  The twenty finalists will be announced in late October.