Posts tagged with "knight cities challenge":

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Urban beaches, 'visionary' architects, ice skating paths among winners of 2017 Knight Cities Challenge

A forest on an abandoned freeway, a bike path turned winter skate track, and participatory governing at the bus stops are slated for reality thanks to the benevolence of the Knight Foundation, which today announced more than three dozen winners of its city-focused grants. This is the third year the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation has bestowed $5 million on projects that enhance public spaces large and small across 26 foundation-selected locales. Through the Knight Cities Challenge program, groups or individuals in those places are invited to submit proposals with an eye towards making cities more successful, a mandate that winners interpreted with an eye towards civic dialogue, youth engagement, and neighborhood revitalization. This year, 19 of the 26 cities are represented in 33 winning proposals the Knight Foundation selected from 144 finalists, which were in turn picked from more than 4,500 applications. The average grant is worth around $147,000, with awards ranging from $12,000 for a mobile voting booth in Georgia to more than $300,000 for a traveling participatory design lab in Philadelphia. Below, see how all of the winners will be putting those grants to use (all project descriptions are courtesy of the Knight Foundation):
The A Place Aberdeen Area Community Foundation Aberdeen, South Dakota Opening a pathway to more opportunity and civic engagement by creating a one-stop information and assistance center for immigrants and new Americans. Innerbelt National Forest Hunter Franks Akron, Ohio Reconnecting two socially and physically isolated neighborhoods by replacing a closed freeway in Akron with a lush forest and public space. @PLAY Art x Love Akron, Ohio Encouraging deeper community connections through custom games and recreational activities that highlight the unique history, identity, and character of each of the city’s communities. Witnessing the Beach Gulf Coast Community Design Studio Biloxi, Mississippi Engaging the public across race, income, and age differences through a series of community gathering and discussion spaces at the beach along the path of the “wade-in” protests, which led to the desegregation of the public beach in 1968. Speak Up Bradenton Manatee County Government Bradenton, Florida Encouraging greater civic engagement by opening up avenues for citizens to participate in government decision-making in non-traditional settings such as bus stops, landmarks, and other public gathering places. Rail Trail Grove & Field Charlotte Center City Partners Charlotte, North Carolina Encouraging economic development and city vibrancy by creating a lively place to connect with nature and neighbors along Charlotte’s light rail line. The space will also help link a retail employment center to the nearest transit stop. Your Move, Charlotte Varian Shrum Charlotte, North Carolina Strengthening connections between citizens and local government through a weekly podcast and follow-up roundtable, in which government representatives and millennials engage on local issues. The State’s Front Porch City of Columbia Columbia, South Carolina Encouraging residents to connect with their government by reimagining the State House as a front porch for all, including seating, events and alternative work spaces throughout the State House grounds. Atwater Beach Detroit RiverFront Conservancy Detroit Further activating the Detroit waterfront by creating an inviting, urban beach along the city’s Atwater Street. Better Buildings, Better Blocks Building Community Value Detroit Providing a pipeline for minorities into real estate jobs, by teaching the fundamentals of small-scale property development and providing initial project financing. Design Center in a Box: A Place for Informed Community Exchange City of Detroit Planning and Development Department Detroit Promoting civic engagement by creating pop-up city planning offices where residents can connect with city planning staff and others to exchange ideas and become informed about the design and planning work happening in their neighborhood and the city at large. Detroit’s Slow Roll Detroit Bike City Detroit Leveraging the 25,000 cyclists who participate in Slow Roll Detroit and demonstrating how to engage Detroit’s nonprofit sector, drive renewal and smile while doing it. Happy 18th Birthday! Local Citizenship Kit Citizen Detroit Detroit Celebrating Detroiters becoming eligible to vote by sending them a local citizenship kit in the mail on their 18th birthday. Making Canal Park Pop City of Duluth Duluth, Minnesota Connecting residents to both Canal Park and to each other by creating a pop-up parklet that will encourage more people to visit. City Church Ruins Garden City of Gary Redevelopment Commission Gary, Indiana Making downtown more vibrant by transforming a historic, abandoned Gothic church in downtown into a ruins garden and event space. The Grand Forks Freezeway Nicholas Jensen Grand Forks, North Dakota Inspiring winter fun and city pride by turning unused bike paths into ice skating paths during winter.
Plant&Play North Limestone Community Development Corp. Lexington, Kentucky Building an adventure playscape and community garden in Castlewood Park, a 30-acre neighborhood park on the north end of Lexington. Back Lot Drive-In at the Tubman Tubman Museum Macon, Georgia Expanding the reach of Macon’s art and museum district by transforming the parking lot of the Tubman Museum into a drive-in theater with screenings that coincide with exhibitions that support the museum’s mission to educate visitors about African-American art, history, and culture.  Pop-Up Garage Park Cole Porter Macon, Georgia Converting an abandoned parking garage into a vibrant, environmentally-friendly community space by introducing green space, art, tables and event programming. Civic Incite: Citizens Setting the Agenda Civic Incite Miami Inspiring civic engagement with an online platform that tracks public meetings and legislation across cities to promote in-person engagement with local governments. Miami-Dade Quickbuild Program Street Plans Collaborative Miami Establishing a program within Miami-Dade County in partnership with local transportation nonprofit Green Mobility Network that advances low-cost, quick-build transportation and open space projects. Rep(resentative) Miami Engage Miami Miami Breaking down barriers to civic participation by putting clear, actionable information about local elected officials directly into citizens’ hands. The Year of Voting Dangerously Twin Lakes Library System Milledgeville, Georgia Engaging the community with a mobile voting booth that prompts residents to respond to pressing local issues and initiatives. 12 for 12: Popup to Rent City of West Palm Beach Palm Beach County, Florida Expanding on the success of a pilot pop-up gallery project by inviting local talent to activate 12 empty storefront spaces as an economic catalyst for West Palm Beach. A Dream Deferred: PHL Redlining – Past, Present, Future Little Giant Creative Philadelphia Building more equitable communities by launching a series of convenings across several cities where decision-makers, social entrepreneurs, activists, and innovators discuss equitable community development. PHL Participatory Design Lab City of Philadelphia Philadelphia Providing a space for Philadelphians to design city service solutions with a mobile, participatory city design lab that will travel from neighborhood to neighborhood. Tabadul: [Re]Presenting and [Ex]Changing Our America Al-Bustan Seeds of Culture Philadelphia Creating forums for cultural exchange that connect communities and activate public spaces through photographic displays of youths’ expressions of identity. Up Up & Away: Building a Programming Space for Comics & Beyond Amalgam Comics & Coffeehouse Philadelphia Creating a space where diverse communities of aspiring comic creators can attend workshops and receive professional development. Vendor Village in the Park: Vending to Vibrancy Southeast Asian Mutual Assistance Corp. [SEAMAAC] Philadelphia Providing entrepreneurial opportunities and connecting diverse communities by opening a marketplace for immigrant cuisine in Mifflin Square Park. Local Color Exhibition District San Jose, California Activating vacant commercial sites with a creative bazaar featuring artist studios alongside modular, open spaces for multidisciplinary community learning and teaching. Reimagining the City: City Designer for San Jose City of San Jose San Jose, California Working to ensure San Jose develops into a walkable, green and engaged metropolis by hiring a visionary chief architect. Pop-Up Power to the People City of St. Paul St. Paul, Minnesota Creating a suite of fun civic engagement tools that gives St. Paul residents the power to design their own community meetings. Horizontes Armando Minjarez-Monarrez Wichita, Kansas Connecting two neighborhoods by painting murals depicting neighborhood residents through an industrial corridor that separates them and engaging residents to reflect on what a “new horizon” for the neighborhood would look like.
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37 Knight Cities Challenge Winners Announced

The private nonprofit Knight Foundation has released the 37 funded winners of the 2016 Knight Cities Challenge. The winning ideas and project concepts were culled from over 4,500 submissions—and this is just the competition’s second year. The challenge? The Foundation asked individuals, nonprofits, the government, and businesses to bring their best and biggest ideas and plans for improving cities and urban life across a range of 26 communities where the Foundation invests. Applications could come from anywhere. This year’s winning ideas focus on 19 of the 26 Knight-funded communities. The Foundation kept their requirements broad, with only one other rule. Ideas had to address one or more of these three key themes: talent, opportunity, and engagement. The winning ideas span urban mobilization, transportation, and infrastructure (bike parks,pedestrian amenities) to job training (training locals to convert old diseased wood into furniture) to rethinking urban banalities (injecting some humor and fun into municipal signage). Here’s a look at four of the winners.   Tired-a-lot proposes a design studio for local youth in Fort Wayne, Indiana, with a focus on fixing up vacant lots using low-cost solutions. This concept for Columbus Georgia brings “urban glens” of nature and community back into vacant lots with hammocks, lights, and trees. The idea behind CrownTownHall: to help foster greater civic engagement through local pop-up events featuring elected officials, as well as planning and city service outreach, in Charlotte, North Carolina. A University of Michigan team will create a program to teach and train Detroit youth in using sensors to gather urban environmental data (such as temperature, air quality, and traffic) and how to apply lessons learned toward improving their own neighborhoods. The Knight Foundation awarded $5 million spread across the 37 winning projects. For those who are curious, here is a full list of past Knight-funded ideas. The portal includes the winners of other Knight challenges, too.
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Urban culture 'consulates', Miami 'science barge' among winners of first Knight cities challenge

The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation announced Tuesday the winners of the first Knight Cities Challenge, awarding a total of $5 million to 32 projects that include “consulates” for local culture in Detroit, Philadelphia, and New Orleans, and “a social kitchen” in downtown Gary, Indiana. Jurors reviewed more than 7,000 applications from the 26 eligible communities, which are all cities where the Knight brothers owned newspapers. A quick sampling of the winners includes: a plan to increase year-round outdoor activities in St. Paul, Minnesota; new pedestrian and bicycle paths in Columbus, Georgiapop-up storefronts in San Diego's San Pedro Square market; a vacant property turned AirBnb-style hostel to benefit the Bhutanese community of Akron, Ohio; and a "science barge" in Miami to increase climate change awareness. The Knight Foundation will open up a call for a more entries in October. You can scroll the full list of winners here on Knight's site, or on this page after the jump. Knight Cities Challenge from Knight Foundation on Vimeo. 2015 Knight Cities Challenge Winners Akron, Ohio Better Block International Hostel on AirBnB, $155,000 by Team Better Block (Submitted by Jason Roberts): Turning a vacant property into an AirBnB hostel and cultural hub in Akron’s North Hill to tap the entrepreneurial potential of the neighborhood’s growing Bhutanese population. Unbox Akron, $52,168 (Submitted by Chris Horne): Fostering a stronger connection to the city by creating a subscription service that celebrates Akron with a monthly selection of local goods and experiences delivered in a box. Bradenton, Fla. ReuseReCONNECT, $90,140 by Realize Bradenton (Submitted by Morgan Bettes): Engaging millennials in Bradenton by experimenting with pop-up events that temporarily transform outdoor spaces into places for conversations on local topics. Charlotte, N.C. No Barriers Project, $67,100 (Submitted by Sarah Hazel): Bringing two diverse neighborhoods together in a public park that sits on their border by creating a new common space that uses light, sound and play to stimulate conversation. “Porch” Swings in Public Places, $28,000 (Submitted by Tom Warshauer): Fostering conversation among strangers by installing Charlotte’s signature porch swings in public spaces. Take Ten Initiative, $74,000 (Submitted by Alyssa Dodd): Challenging municipal workers to take 10 minutes each week to connect with a city resident and report on their thoughts and ideas. Columbus, Ga. Minimum Grid: Maximum Impact, $199,195 by MidTown Inc. (Submitted by Anne King): Establishing a comprehensive network of bicycle and pedestrian connections among the entertainment and business district of Uptown and the 24 diverse neighborhoods of MidTown. Detroit RE:Brand Detroit: Innovating Detroit Neighborhoods, $164,810 by Brand Camp University (Submitted by Hajj Flemings): Changing the narrative of underserved neighborhoods by developing compelling branding and digital presences for neighborhood businesses that better tell their stories. Brick + Beam Detroit, $87,424 by Michigan Historic Preservation Network (Submitted by Emilie Evans): Creating a new community of Detroit rehabbers who will work together to combat blight, reactivate vacant buildings and improve their city. The Buzz, $84,055 by Detroit Future City (Submitted by Erin Kelly): Pairing barbers with landscape contractors to transform overgrown vacant lots through facilitated design workshops that teach mowing and pattern-making techniques. Detroit Homecoming, $100,000 by Crain’s Detroit Business (Submitted by Eric Cedo): Engaging Detroit expats with a new digital community designed to keep them connected to Detroit and its opportunities. LIVE Detroit, $40,000 by LIVE Detroit (Submitted by Rachel Perschetz): Attracting and retaining residents by creating a center for information about Detroit neighborhoods and city life that showcases the best of Detroit. Gary, Ind. ArtHouse: a Social Kitchen, $650,000 by Rebuild Foundation (submitted by Lori Berko): Repurposing a vacant space in downtown Gary as a culinary incubator and café designed to reinvigorate downtown while creating jobs and opportunities for residents. Lexington, Ky. Northside Common Market, $550,000 by North Limestone Community Development Corp. (Submitted by Richard Young): Repurposing a vacant bus station into a market for locally grown food and locally made goods and a creative business incubator that will serve as a neighborhood hub. Macon, Ga. Operation Export Macon, $75,000 by College Hill Alliance (Submitted by Joshua Lovett): Fostering city pride and helping attract newcomers to Macon by sending one man in a roaming trailer to nearby cities, to showcase the city’s best food, goods and experiences. Macon Civic Spaces, $124,300 (submitted by Geoffrey Boyd): Creating an umbrella organization to bring together individual park volunteer groups to create a network of advocates, interested in improving and maintaining local parks as vibrant community engagement venues. Miami The Science Barge, $298,633 by CappSci (Submitted by Nathalie Manzano-Smith): Creating a public focal point for Miami’s climate issues with the Science Barge, a floating, urban sustainable farm and environmental education center powered by renewable energy. Multiple communities The Urban “Consulate,” $150,000 (Submitted by Claire Nelson): Promoting cross-city cultural and civic exchange by setting up a network of new “consulates” initially located in Detroit, Philadelphia and New Orleans that offer events and an entrée into local culture. The Swings: An Exercise in Musical Cooperation, $325,000 by DailyTousLesJours (Submitted by Mouna Andraos): Bringing people together to connect and engage in four Knight resident cities (Charlotte, Macon, Philadelphia and San Jose) with a musical swings installation that plays music when used and more complex melodies when people collaborate to use them together. Philadelphia The Pop-Up Pool Project, $297,000 by Group Melvin Design (Submitted by Benjamin Bryant): Introducing fun, easy solutions at city pools, which will be designed to make them more vibrant places to meet and interact with neighbors and friends. South Philly's Stoop, $146,960 by Scout (Submitted by Lindsey Scannapieco): Transforming the vacant space surrounding the recently closed, historic Edward Bok school in South Philadelphia into a new community living room that brings community members together, encourages connections and engages people with neighborhood history. Urban Arboreta, $65,000 by City Parks Association of Philadelphia (Submitted by Timothy Baird): Transforming vacant land in Philadelphia into urban forests that produce trees to be replanted on city streets and in parks. Next Stop: Democracy! The Voting Signage Project, $166,394 by Here’s My Chance (Submitted by Lansie Sylvia): Making voting in local elections more enticing by creating new types of signs at polling places and commissioning artists to perform site-specific pieces on election days. Neighborhood Conservation Kit, $20,000 by Central Roxborough Civic Association (Submitted by Sandy Sorlien): Putting the future of communities in residents’ hands with a toolkit they can use to create a special zoning designation called a Neighborhood Conservation Overlay. Philadelphia Immigrant Innovation Hub, $261,500 by Mt. Airy USA (Submitted by Anuj Gupta): Harnessing the talent and energy of immigrants to revitalize distressed neighborhoods by providing centers that would offer immigrant entrepreneurs low-cost space, language assistance, workshops and trainings, and access to traditional and non-traditional sources of capital. DIG Philly by The Big SandBox Inc., $149,050 (Submitted by Jacques Gaffigan): Bringing together members of the community from diverse ages, ethnic and economic groups to create a movement to reinvent schoolyards across the city using traditional grassroots outreach and new digital engagement tools. San Jose, Calif. Houslets, $40,000 by Houslets (Submitted by Tim McCormick): Prototyping and deploying low-cost, modular housing and workspace units to test a new model for temporary and affordable housing for San Jose’s fast-growing population. San Pedro Squared, $139,000 by San Jose Downtown Association (Submitted by Scott Knies): Testing a new method of economic revival focused on bringing activity to the streets by installing pop-up retail units on the ground floor of a parking structure opposite the lively San Pedro Square market. St Paul, Minn. 4 Play, $117,000 by Greater MSP (Submitted by Peter Frosch): Changing the way people perceive the city and its climate by inviting all residents to come together for an outdoor activity—whether it’s ice fishing or summer canoeing—once per season. 8-80 Vitality Fellow, $175,000 by Mayor’s Office, City of St. Paul (Submitted by Mayor Chris Coleman): Promoting a more livable St. Paul by embedding a fellow in the mayor’s office who will work across departments to manage the $42 million committed to the mayor’s 8-80 Vitality Fund, which aims to ensure that walking, biking and public spaces are a priority in all city projects. MN Nice Breakers, $37,960 (Submitted by Jun-Li Wang): Making the city more welcoming by using existing events to help newcomers quickly establish social networks that attach them to the city. Rolling Out the Warm Welcome Hat, $67,288 (Submitted by Jun-Li Wang): Welcoming newcomers by having city leaders hold monthly ceremonies to give them an official welcome gift, a warm hat for Minnesota winters.