The Knight Cities Challenge finalists have been announced on Tuesday. The Knight Foundation chose 158 best ideas out of 4,500 proposals.
This is the second edition of the Knight Cities Challenge which requests applicants to submit ideas that would make the 26 places where Knight invests more enjoyable for residents and workers.
Last year, at the first edition of the competition the Knight Foundation announced it will invest $15 million during three consecutive years in ideas that would increase the civic involvement, expand the economic prospects and attract talent to the cities.
The $5 million of this year has attracted 4,500 people who dreamt to take their ideas further and transform them into reality.
Long Beach Post contacted the five finalists from its city to find out more about their ideas of improving the place and what to expect if they win a piece of the $5 million cake.
The application submitted by Global Green USA is aiming to improve resident’s access to the DeForest Wetlands. The team proposes a stairway and a ramp that would connect Virginia Village to the wetlands. That would replace the current path used by locals up a dirt berm and through a chain link fence.
The second Long Beach finalist is City Fabrick which proposes pop-up plazas that would stimulate people to vote. The areas with bright furniture, entertainment programs and food options in front of the polling locations would attract people out of their houses.
Localism Inc. dreams to get more funding for its MADE in Long Beach project. Its developers want to create a space used by people from different areas, from tech to art, to collaborate and innovate together. In this place consumers would become producers, stimulating the local economy.
Another idea of shared space comes from City Manager’s Office and plans to bring together small businesses that wouldn’t allow office space. The coworking space would be outdoors, in a park. The place would have everything needed in an office, from Wi-Fi to restrooms, shade for computers, food options and more.
The last finalist from Long Beach is another project idea submitted by City Fabrik. The collective of young people want to improve a local retail center – they haven’t picked one yet – and transform it into a community space with new landscaping and an eventual reconfiguration of its parking, which is now just an empty sterile mass of concrete.
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