Project Details

Small Town Uptown seeks to bring the connectedness of the "small town" to Uptown Charlotte, North Carolina. Through door-to-door surveys, meet-and-greet events, and the use of social media, Small Town Uptown brings together neighbors with similar interests, utilizes and makes available the skills inherent in a neighborhood, and helps weave the social fabric intrinsic in small towns into the downtown urban environment. Modeled on the Abundant Community Initiative in Edmonton, Small Town Uptown can turn First Ward into a true *neighbor*hood.

More info here: www.smalltownuptown.com

Johnny Wakefield's Biography

 
Ryan O'Connor has not set their biography yet

“It’s an Honour to Be Nominated.” 8 80 Cities Listed as Finalist for Knight Cities Challenge

“It’s an Honour to Be Nominated.” 8 80 Cities Listed as Finalist for Knight Cities Challenge

It's awards season in Hollywood which means there's a lot of "It's an honour just to be nominated" going around. It's an annoying and clichéd statement, but one that 8 80 Cities can currently relate to. Earlier this month, the Knight Foundation announced 144 finalists for the 2017 Knight Cities Challenge. 8 80 Cities is proud to be co-leading or collaborating on three finalist applications.

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Historic Northwest Rising: Food, Music, and Community Engagement

Historic Northwest Rising: Food, Music, and Community Engagement

Food and music are powerful community engagement tools. We were reminded of this fact last month as we launched the public phase of the Historic Northwest Rising project in West Palm Beach. Historic Northwest Rising is an initiative to shape the future of the Historic Northwest, a vibrant low income African American neighbourhood on the edge of downtown West Palm Beach.

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Emerging City Champions Studio: A Boot Camp for Urbanists

Emerging City Champions Studio: A Boot Camp for Urbanists

8 80 Cities hosted twenty rising urbanist stars in Toronto last week for the Emerging City Champions Studio 2016.

The Studio is a four-day boot camp on city building, where twenty civic innovators develop and hone essential skills for implementing successful urban interventions in their cities. The participants were selected as part of the Emerging City Champions fellowship program which supports civic innovators with bold ideas to enhance civic engagement, public spaces, and mobility. Participants receive a $5,000 mini grant and have one year to implement a wide range of projects, from music camps and mobile libraries to alleyway retrofits and Open Streets. The program is run by 8 80 Cities with funding and support from the Knight Foundation.

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20 Urbanists to Pursue Groundbreaking Projects as 2016 Emerging City Champions

20 Urbanists to Pursue Groundbreaking Projects as 2016 Emerging City Champions

Knight Foundation and 8 80 Cities have selected 20 civic innovators to participate in the 2016 Emerging City Champions fellowship program. The participants will receive $5,000 to implement one project in one year that will improve mobility, public spaces or civic engagement in their home cities.

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Building Community Connections: Champs Enhance Civic Engagement With Innovative Projects

Building Community Connections: Champs Enhance Civic Engagement With Innovative Projects

The Emerging City Champions is a fellowship program for civic leaders with big ideas to make their communities healthier, happier, and more socially connected. The program is run by 8 80 Cities, with support from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. The program started in June 2015, when each Champion was given one year and $5,000 to transform their neighbourhoods.

Three of these Champions have committed themselves to enhancing civic engagement by sharing stories, building living rooms, and empowering youth through bikes. These are their stories.

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8 80 Cities Contributes to Knight Cities Challenge Winners

8 80 Cities Contributes to Knight Cities Challenge Winners

For the past two years, the Knight Foundation has issued a call for the newest, boldest, most innovative ideas to create more successful cities through the Knight Cities Challenge. More than 4,500 ideas were submitted by innovators across the country. Only 37 projects will receive funding from a $5 million pot. 8 80 Cities is proud to announce that three of our exciting new projects were awarded funding through the Challenge. These successful ideas are:

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Project Update

February 2016
Zia has shifted the focus of her project to building an urban garden that will provide hands-on training for youth at San Jose's Juvenile Hall. The participants will be directly involved in plotting, planting, and gathering the produce which will then be sold at local markets. Local students are scheduled to host 2-4 classes and workshops at the garden each month. The garden is set to open in February 2016. The project is supported by five community partners, including the juvenile prison which is paying for the water and background checks, a non-profit agency that is donating plants, and a local landscape architect who is providing design services.

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Project Update

akeemandtariz pleasecredit samueldolgin gardnerFebruary 2016
Akeem continues to find creative ways to support local businesses and residents along 52nd Street, also know as West Philly's Main Street. Working on behalf of the Enterprise Center, Akeem works to cultivate community partnerships and promote equitable community revitalization in the neighbourhood. As the corridor manager, Dixon works with over 200 businesses and more than 30 street vendors.

In December, Akeem led the Meter Murals project, which invited local artists to paint parking meters along 52nd Street with images and designs inspired by neighbourhood groups. He also hosts monthly Meetings on the Corridor, which regularly attract 30-40 people who want to discuss ideas and opportunities to make 52nd Street a supportive and vibrant environment for local businesses and residents.

Media
Akeem Dixon brings the community into the development conversation
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Finally, a reason to love a parking meter
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A commercial corridor manager brings signs of life to 52nd Street in West Philly
>> more

Safe Growth Report On 52nd Street
>> more

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Project Update

publicworkshopFebruary 2016
After experiencing some unanticipated barriers to her original idea, Victoria has shifted the focus of her project from sidewalk canes to creative seating for older adults. In collaboration with Public Workshop, Victoria will install street furniture that are designed to accommodate elderly residents.

This new direction was inspired by the work of Alex Gilliam, director of the Department of Making & Doing. In December, Alex and his team constructed playful benches for youth in a north Philadelphia neighborhood. The benches were designed and built by local youth with the support of the Department of Making & Doing.

Victoria explains how Alex's approach can be used to create a truly multi-generational project:

"Improvements for elderly are the same that benefit the very young — they still need places to sit in between long blocks, they need better views to oncoming traffic, they enjoy simple entertainment, they need activation and street level activity during 9-5 working hours. Additionally, my own conversations and observations of my older neighbors shows that social support helps them age in place just as much as physical installations. Many older residents live alone; their interactions with neighbors, passerby on the street, and kids give them a social outlet. Some older residents enjoy sitting on the benches surrounding the fenced-in playground area both because these are some of the only benches available in the park, and because they can watch and interact with the kids and their families. The K880 studio and my subsequent reflections have made me truly appreciate the concept of designing for under age 8 and over age 80."


Photo: Public Workshop

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Project Update

8c64ba 81dd6415e56541ecae6a7fde1d8b3c90February 2016
In July 2015, Crystal hosted a family-friendly pop-up event in Swede Hollow Park, which included a puppet show, music, and refreshments.Building on the momentum of that event, Cyrstal has also launched an online survey to collect feedback and ideas from the community on what types of events, programming, and infrastructure improvements they might like to see in the park.

The next pop-up initiative, Explore More East Side, is set to launch in Spring 2016. The goal of this project is to display banners at two key thoroughfare locations on the East Side of St. Paul to advertise Swede Hollow Park and share what we as neighbors, residents and a community "Like" about thegreen space.

All of these projects are designed to build support and excitement for the Swede Hollow Park Viewfinder.

>> more

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Project Update

rising sonsFebruary 2016
Alex's get-out-the-vote program launched with a two-day event, which began with a tour of Philadelphia City Hall for 25 youth which was led by a local city councillor and commissioner. The participants got to see firsthand where decisions are made and learn how the electoral system works. The following day was election day, during which all the participants assembled outdoors to encourage people to practice their democractic right to vote.

Since hosting the event, Alex has been approached by representatives at the City of Philadelphia who want to make this program a signature event during election seasons to inspire more civic engagement. Black Youth Vote! has also connected with Alex to discuss the possibility of bringing his model of youth voter engagement to the national stage.

Alex was recently named as one of 28 NBCBLK innovators and game changers.

Click here to learn about Alex's (and Pop Pop's) work.

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Project Update

C4C 3136 web 700x400February 2016
Jason's work with Cycles for Change not only helps kids to start riding bikes, it also supports them in becoming local leaders and advocates for safer streets. Through the organization's Youth Leadership Council, several young people have participated in leadership training and become directly involved shaping the programming and advocacy work of Cycles for Change.

In addition to the Youth Leadership Council, Cycles for Change has various youth programs including bike mechanics and safety classes, as well as an earn-a-bike program where students learn how to build a build a bike which they keep at the end of the course.

Jason and his team at Cycles for Change are also hosting the national Youth Bike Congress in Saint Paul on May 27-29. They have already secured 8 80 Cities' founder Gil Penalosa as the keynote speaker for the event. Read more about event.

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Project Update

teepee credit danyahenninger philip kids 1000x703"If Philly Teepee is one thing, it's a giant conversation starter."

February 2016
Philip held six Philly Teepee events throughout the city in the summer and fall of 2015. He recently purchased a propane heater to extend the Teepee season, but is still looking forward to starting more conversations in more Philadelphia parks in summer 2016.

Media
Follow Philly Teepee on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram

On the ground: philly teepee pops up in parkside
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The Philly Teepee: Why the pop-up artwork keeps appearing in the city's parks
>> more

 

Photo: Danya Henninger




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Project Update

city astronaut keys to unluck urban kindness cover copy708x443February 2016
In December, Binsen officially launched City Astronaut to much success and excitement from the community. City Astronauts is a micro-storytelling and public art project that encourages people to share thoughts and ideas about themselves, their neighbours, or their city. Here's how it works, in Binsen's own words:

"A team of City Astronauts ambassadors will give strangers small pieces of paper – what we're calling Keys to the City - that ask them to give a tip or advice on living a better life in their neighborhood. Sharing your favorite coffee shop or park could be a great act of urban kindness, as could providing a quote on ways to survive everyday life. It's up to you.

Across Miami-Dade County, on nine Miami Dade College campuses, colorful doors will be installed with the City Astronaut artwork. On the back of the doors will be small hooks where you can hang your finished Key to the City so all can read and explore your thoughts. Users will not only be part of the installation, but will become artist and storyteller.

city astronautThe City Astronaut emblem and graphic is designed to inspire a moment of mindfulness outside of everyday life. The hanging keys on the back of the doors are a collection that will invoke an internal and external conversation: Should I express kindness to strangers and would strangers express kindness to me? The goal is that in pondering this, the keys will enhance our understanding and deepen our appreciation for our community through written acts of urban kindness and knowledge sharing."
>> more

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The "keys" created by community members will be published at www.cityastronaut.com. The project can be tracked through Instagram @CityAstronaut and on Twitter, Youtube, and Facebook.

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Project Update

colony1 model jayme gershenFebruary 2016
Blair and her team at the Art of Cultural Evolution have hosted a series events to build food skills and knowledge while they work towards their larger goal of building Colony1, "a community classroom, vegan kitchen, urban garden, bulk food store, and multifaceted facility."

The Lettuce Turnip the Beet Festival featured a raw lunch workshop, yoga, live music, and a class on how to make eco-friendly bubbles. The event was held once every month during the summer, and is continuing every quarter in the off-season.

Plans for the Colony1 building are moving forward as the group recently secured a capital development grant for the building. For more details about the project, click here

Media
Visit the project website or Facebook page

Colony1 eco-friendly community to build sustainable 'living building' in wynwood
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Photo: Jayme Gershen

 

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Project Update

February 2016
Naomi will be hosting a second FoodSpark event thanks in part to a grant she secured through the Miami Foundation's Public Space Challenge. The next event will take place in February 14, 2016.

foodsparkOctober 2015
Noami hosted FoodSpark Miami's first pop-up potluck dinner, which uses the power of delicious food to bring Miamians together to tackle critical social issues that impact everyone. Beyond the traditional enjoyment of food, this potluck included live music and group dialogue activities. The kick-off event took place on September 12-13 during an arts fair located in Downtown Miami. In addition to this success, Naomi also leveraged her Emerging City Champion funding by securing an additional $6,000 grant through the Miami Public Space Challenge.
more >> 

 

Photo: Celebrate Diversity Miami

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Project Update

downtown maconOctober 2016
David has shifted the focus of his project from self-guided, QR coded tours to walking tours that he will guide himself. He is continuing to collect stories about downtown Macon to share on the walking tours, which he plans to launch in summer 2016. He has also established a partnership with the American Institute of Architecture to collaborate on the tours. David will focus on the cultural and personal stories that make downtown Macon unique, while the AIA will narrate the history of the built environment.

Meanwhile, David was among three Emerging City Champions to be named as a finalist for the Knight Cities Challenge. David's idea is to develop an incubator space for entrepreneurs to provide a supportive and creative environment for people who want to establish businesses in downtown Macon.

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Project Update

bikemacon logoFebruary 2016
The support and participation in Bike Macon continues to grow. Several members are now encouraging Bike Macon to take on bolder advocacy and bike policy leadership roles by working with local stakeholders to create a comprehensive cycling plan for Macon. Rachel and her group are now leading the organization of Macon's first Open Streets event in partnership with the City and the Macon-Bibb County Urban Development Authority.

bikemaconhalloween

October 2015
Bike Macon hosted its first official Bike Party on October 23rd. In honour of the season, the group rode an eight-mile route through 

Macon in Halloween costumes with a pit stop for music, pizza, and a costume contest at the Macon-Bibb Parks and Beautification Office. The event concluded at Oak Haven Park where participants enjoyed a family movie night featuring Beetlejuice. >> more

August 2015
Rachel hosted the kick-off meeting for Bike Macon, a new community group that will advocate for safer cycling infrastructure in Macon. Over 50 enthusiastic people attended the meeting, despite a game-time decision to cancel an inaugural bike ride due to poor weather. The group aims to connect neighbors across Macon by using fun and creativity to help make residents more comfortable with walking and biking around town. In a matter of weeks, Rachel and her team of volunteers have become the community voice for all things cycling in Macon. >> more

Media
Follow Bike Macon on Twitter, Facebook, and on their website

Click here for a complete list of media coverage for Bike Macon

 

Photo: Bike Macon

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Project Update

bamnFebruary 2016
Marlo is helping San Jose residents tell their stories in music, art, and film through his latest venture, By Any Means Necessary (BAMN). Their mission statement reads: "BAMN is a media organization and digital arts incubator composed of creative interventionists that focus on restoring and reactivating communities in Silicon Valley." The BAMN team has grown to include a roster of nine local recording artists, who are supported by more than 20 employees and volunteers. BAMN also hosts weekly meetings to support networking and skill building, which regularly attracts 30-40 additional artists.

BAMN has now released four music videos - their most recent release is Amplify Your Frequency by Kwesi Young. They continue to support the arts of all kinds by renting out space in their workshop for community dance classes.

What's next?
Marlo wants to grow BAMN in three distinct but complementary services:

1) Provide digital marketing for emerging artists in San Jose
2) Offer artist incubator spaces to support peer-to-peer learning in their studio and workshop
3) Support artist growth with the goal of bringing them into the recording label

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Project Update

sunset bridge streetsblogFebruary 2016
Justin and his team are busy building partnerships with the City of San Jose and Caltrain, the regional commuter rail line. They have also begun reaching out to the community and collaborating with local elementary schools to determine what types of programming or design improvements they would like to see on the Bridge. Meanwhile, the Sunset Bridge team leveraged their Emerging City Champion funding with a $200,000 grant from ArtPlace.

 

Photo: Justin Triano

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