BANGOR, Maine (NEWS CENTER) - Residents of five different neighborhoods in Bangor gathered at Nocturnem Draft Haus to kick off the Innovative Neighborhoods competition in an effort to make Bangor the best small city in the United States.

The neighborhood teams brainstormed ideas not only to improve Bangor, but also their respective neighborhoods. Teams from each neighborhood were expected to identify possible funding sources for their ideas if there are costs involved.

Assistant professor of nursing at UMaine and Fairmount competitor Kelley Strout believes that it is a great opportunity to promote Bangor as a great place to live.  As a Bangor native and a Fairmount resident, she said that she loves how close everyone in the neighborhood is to one another - it's like a family.

The teams are expected to bring their ideas to life over the course of the next five or six months, and each team's ideas will be judged by residents through an online vote.  The hope is that even if an idea does not win the competition, there is nothing stopping it from being executed.