Two city proposals named finalists in Knight Foundation challenge

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) Two proposals that aim to make Fort Wayne a better community have been named finalists in the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation’s first Knight Cities Challenge. The challenge will award 26 communities with a share of $5 million to invest in more vibrant places to live and work.

The foundation named its 126 final submissions out of more than 7,000 applicants. The two proposals include a pop-up neighborhood and a project that would bring artists, architects, and community members together to repurpose vacant buildings.

“The challenge has introduced us to a host of new ideas and people who want to take hold of the future of their cities,” Carol Coletta, Knight Foundation vice president for community and national initiatives said in a statement. “Through these new connections we hope to grow a network of civic innovators to take on community challenges and build solutions together.”

A pop-up neighborhood proposal was submitted by Kate Riordan for City of Fort Wayne. The following is a summary of her project from the Knight Foundation’s list of finalists:

Pop-Up Neighborhood by City of Fort Wayne (Submitted by Kate Riordan): Creating pop-up vibrant neighborhoods by providing entrepreneurs subsidized rates in small sections of underused commercial corridors for an extended time to stimulate public and private investment in targeted areas.

The second proposal was submitted by a non-profit organization called Big Car Collaborative. The organization has done work in Indianapolis, to see photos from some of their previous projects, click here. This is the summary of its proposal:

Re:Place | Re:Purpose by Big Car Collaborative (Submitted by Jim Walker): Testing quick, innovative solutions for repurposing vacant buildings and bringing more vitality to neighborhoods by bringing together a local team of artists, landscape architects, city planners and other community members.

Each submitted idea has to focus on at least one of three drivers of city success. These are the three areas as outlined by the Knight Foundation:

  • Talent: Ideas that help cities attract and keep the best and brightest
  • Opportunity: Ideas that expand economic prospects and break down divides
  • Engagement: Ideas that spur connection and civic involvement

Gary is the only other city in Indiana to have finalist proposals. To see their proposals, as well as all the proposals for the Knights Cities Challenge, click here.

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