AN innovative project to get people together to help solve some of the major issues facing York has won a national award – and the city’s Park&Ride schemes have been shortlisted for another.

GeniUS!, which was created by City of York Council in partnership with Science City York, fought off competition from more than 500 entries to be declared overall winner and winner of the community engagement award at the Guardian Public Service Awards.

The project invites residents, community groups, businesses, innovators and academics to share their ideas on how to solve problems such as the ageing population, environment, energy and the economy.

Since it was launched in January, it has attracted more than 300 registered users from across the community, including local business owners, residents, community groups, academics and innovators.

It is being exported to Cape Town, South Africa, and councils including Kirklees, Leeds and Bristol have expressed interest in adopting it.

Council leader James Alexander said the award was a “fantastic endorsement” for the GeniUS! scheme.

Kersten England, City of York Council chief executive, said: “This kind of initiative aims to engage everyone in finding innovative solutions that we as a council can support and develop for the benefit of all.”

Meanwhile, the council and bus operator First have been shortlisted in the 2013 Eurostar Ashden Awards for Sustainable Travel, with the chance of winning thousands of pounds to support sustainable travel in the city.

Simon Pearson, of First, said the achievement was recognition for all First and council staff who worked extremely hard to offer a first-class and professional park-and-ride service, which many benefits including easing road congestion.