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Knight Cities Challenge to award $5 million in third round

The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation is looking for innovative ideas to help U. S. cities attract talent, spur economic growth and facilitate civic engagement.

George Abbott, project manager for the Knight Cities Challenge, writes here that $5 million in grant funding will be awarded to 26 U. S. communities where Knight is active this fall. Winners will be announced next year.

This will be the third installment of the challenge. Nearly 70 projects have shared $10 million in prizes since the urban-themed contest launched in 2014. Submissions for the next round will be accepted from October 10 to November 3. “The challenge is designed to be a source of risk capital,” Abbott writes. “We’re interested in testing new ideas and exploring what works so that we can spread learning across our network of cities.” A key goal is to build pathways to economic opportunity that can help end segregation in cities, he explains.

Even modest funding can bridge the gap between a crazy idea and implementation. After the challenge awarded an architect $120,000 to build a bicycle park in downtown Akron, Ohio, Fast Company picked up the story. The wider attention prompted unsolicited offers from strangers to help.

Read about this year’s winners here. More details about how to enter in this year’s competition are here.

Knight Foundation

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