Miami, Fla. – Over 4,500 project ideas were submitted to this year’s Knight Cities Challenge, which invites innovators to actively shape the futures of cities across the U.S. Reviewers spent two months looking over applications in order to select the 158 finalists, who have until the end of the month to submit formal applications. The winners of the challenge receive a grant to help fund their projects. This year, a total of $5 million in prize money will be divided up among winning projects.
The Knight Cities Challenge seeks to encourage civic involvement, from neighborhood blocks to entire cities, by improving economic opportunities, bolstering civic engagement, and attracting talented individuals. Twenty-six communities where the Knight brothers once owned newspapers, including Detroit, St. Paul, and Philadelphia, are designated locations for the challenge.
Public art playfully weaves its way through several of the 2016 finalist projects. Dancin’ in the Street by the city of Charlotte (submitted by Sarah Hazel and Phil Reiger) seeks to transform a street crossing into a dance party with an animated street crossing signal, dance music, and more. The Devil Strip, an Akron-based music, art, and culture magazine, proposed Akron Shorts, stations installed across the city that dispense art, stories, and other creations by local residents. The Colored Girls Museum (submitted by Vashti DuBois) aims to bolster pride by sharing stories of black women in Philadelphia’s underserved neighborhoods with exhibits installed in resident homes. You can read more about the Finalists on the Knight blog.
Which projects would you like to see in your neighborhood? Share your comments below!