DENVER — Two Colorado cities were winners in this year’s Bloomberg Philanthropies U.S Mayors Challenge. The challenge is a yearlong competition that encourages city leaders to test innovative ideas to confront tough problems cities face.

This year, Denver and Fort Collins were two of nine cities awarded $1 million to implement potentially breakthrough solutions to these problems, with the idea that other cities may follow in their path should they prove to be successful.

The City of Denver was selected for their approach partnering with Denver Public Schools to protect children with asthma from the negative effects of poor air quality.

In a release, city officials said they aim to utilize a real-time, hyper-local air quality data-monitoring system. The system will be equipped with an air pollution sensor technology that collects and interprets data, then disseminates the results to the community.

Part of the award money will also be used to develop school-based programming aimed at reducing pollution sources and limiting exposure to poor air quality. This will be developed in partnership with students, parents, school nurses, teachers and staff.

The city of Fort Collins will use the money to improve health and equity benefits for low- and moderate-income renters by improving energy efficiency of rental homes. In a release, officials with the city said residential property owners will be able to take advantage of the EPIC Programs’ steps to make homes more comfortable, healthy and efficient.

A portion of the money will also go toward work with Colorado State University to document the health and wellbeing benefits of improved indoor air quality over time.

Denver and Fort Collins join Durham, North Carolina; Georgetown, Texas; Huntington, West Virginia; Los Angeles, California; New Rochelle, New York; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; and South Bend, Indiana as winners of the U.S. Mayors Challenge.