Thirty-two projects have been announced as the winners of the Inaugural Knight Cities Challenge, sharing in a prize pool of $USD5 million. An initiative of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the challenge received an overwhelming number of entries, with winners selected from a pool of over 7000 submissions. Each of the projects proposed strategies for the civic and economic development of one of the 26 cities in which the Knight Foundation invests, including Detroit, Akron Ohio, San Jose California, Lexington Kentucky, and Biloxi Mississippi.
The winning proposals each addressed one or more of the Knight Foundation’s “three drivers of city success”: (1) Talent: Ideas that help cities attract and keep the best and brightest, (2) Opportunity: Ideas that create economic prospects and break down divides, (3) Engagement: Ideas that spur connection and civic involvement.
“Not only did the Knight Cities Challenge uncover a wealth of new ideas to make our cities more successful, it will help strengthen a network of civic innovators who are taking hold of the future of their cities,” said Carol Coletta, Knight Foundation vice president for community and national initiatives, “These important connections will help create a pipeline for new approaches to city transformation and spark the type of collaboration vital to growing and spreading good ideas.”
The Knight Cities Challenge will reopen for submissions in fall 2015, and is open to any individual, business, government, or nonprofit group. View selected winners after the break.
The Swings: An Exercise in Musical Cooperation / Daily Tous Les Jours
“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.”
Reuse ReCONNECT / Realize Bradenton Inc.
“Engaging millennials in Bradenton by experimenting with pop-up events that temporarily transform outdoor spaces into places for conversations on local topics.”
The Pop-Up Pool Project / Group Melvin Design
“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.”
Operation Export Macon / College Hill Alliance
“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.”
RE:Brand Detroit: Innovating Detroit Neighborhoods / Brand Camp University
“Changing the narrative of underserved neighborhoods by developing compelling branding and digital presences for neighborhood businesses that better tell their stories.”
South Philly's Stoop / Scout
“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”
View the full list of winning projects here.