The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation has announced the winners of the 2016 Knight Cities Challenge, a competition designed to generate ideas aimed at making cities more vibrant places to live and work.
The thirty-seven winners will share a total of $5 million to implement their projects and proposed ideas, which range from an exploration of Detroit’s history through monthly bike tours that blend storytelling with neighborhood discovery, to using hip-hop to provide hands-on business training to members of low-income groups in Philadelphia, to creating a new cultural hub in West Palm Beach’s Northwest Historic District. Winning projects were chosen from nineteen of the twenty-six communities where the foundation invests, including Akron, Ohio; Boulder, Colorado; Columbus, Georgia; Charlotte, North Carolina; Detroit, Michigan; Gary, Indiana; Ft. Wayne, Indiana; Grand Forks, North Dakota; Lexington, Kentucky; Macon, Georgia; Miami, Florida; Long Beach, California; Milledgeville, Georgia; Palm Beach County, Florida; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; St. Paul, Minnesota; San Jose, California; State College, Pennsylvania; and Tallahassee, Florida.
Now in its second year, the challenge, which is open to any individual, business, government agency, or nonprofit, has only two criteria: a submission may originate from anywhere, but the project itself must take place in or benefit one or more Knight communities; and the idea should focus on one or more of the three drivers of city success: talent, opportunity, and engagement.
"At its core, the Knight Cities Challenge is about discovering and connecting civic innovators, creative interventionists who inspire positive change," said Knight Foundation president Alberto Ibargüen. "The winners reflect this goal. Their ideas have the potential to create stronger communities and spaces that spur learning, engagement, and growth."
For a complete list of the winning ideas, see the Knight Foundation website.