Santa Monica is one of four cities to win a $1 million grant in a contest among the nation's mayors, and will use the money to start compiling a well-being index.
With help from experts, the city will measure how fulfilled, engaged, satisfied and healthy residents feel, then use the data to "set policies and direct scarce resources in ways that support exactly what people need to thrive."
The $5 million grand prize in the contest created by New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg to improve cities went to Providence, R.I., which plans to help poor children with their language skills, the Associated Press reported. The other three runners-up are Chicago, Houston and Philadelphia.
A city spokeswoman said officials would withhold comment until a conference call with reporters Wednesday morning.
But at Tuesday night's City Council meeting, councilman Terry O'Day briefly announced Santa Monica's placement in the challenge, saying "congratulations to everyone who was involved." The councilman said Mayor Pam O'Connor, who was not at the meeting, was scheduled to appear Wednesday morning on NBC's "Today" show.
Bloomberg's foundation invited cities with populations of 30,000 or more to submit entries to the contest, and 305 responded, pitching ideas such as an online portal to process business license and building permit applications and an "aggressive" outreach program aimed at vanquishing domestic violence.
Last year, the foundation paid for the top 20 finalists to travel to New York to attend an "ideas camp" to refine their proposals.