Diversity & Inclusion
Arts / Funding

Here are some Philly tech finalists from the Knight Cities Challenge

A public space audit tool for University City and a traveling design lab are in the running for some Knight Fundation cash.

There are 20 Philly projects among the program's finalists. (Photo by Flickr user JOrdan Staub, under a Creative Commons license)

The Knight Foundation just dropped its list of finalists for the Knight Cities Challenge, a project that aims to deliver $5 million to fund ideas with the potential to make communities more successful.

20 Philly projects landed spots among the program’s 144 finalists, per our sister site Generocity. Out of that roundup, we spotted a couple with a tech and maker angle or by people in the tech scene:

  • Just Space Audit by the University City District (submitted by the District’s director of development Sarah Davis): Creating and deploying an audit tool to assess the accessibility and equity of a public space network.
  • Reimagining Police Plazas as Community Centers by Tiny WPA (submitted by Renee Schacht): Strengthening neighborhoods by transforming often vacant spaces in front of police stations into vibrant places for community engagement and play.
  • Philadelphia Before, During and After Redlining by Little Giant Creative (submitted by Tayyib Smith, who helped bring coworking space Pipeline to Philadelphia): Highlighting inequality and the negative effects of denying services to specific residents through the practice of redlining with an interactive data map and exhibition.
  • Philadelphia Mobile Design Lab by the Office of Open Data and Technology (submitted by UX designer Liana Dragoman): Providing a space for Philadelphians to design city service solutions with a mobile, participatory city design lab that will travel from neighborhood to neighborhood.
  • Up Up & Away: Building a Programming Space for Comics & Beyond by Amalgam Comics and Coffeehouse Inc. (submitted by 2016 Geek of the Year nominee Ariell Johnson): Creating a space where diverse communities of aspiring comic creators can attend workshops and receive professional development.

Both ideas, picked from a substantial pool of 4,500 applicants, are in the running to receive part of the grant’s $5 million pool. Winners will be announced in the spring, so we’ll be on the lookout.

Companies: Knight Foundation / Public Workshop / University City District
People: Tayyib Smith

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