Finalists named for innovative projects to improve civic life in St. Paul

Author:
Updated:
Original:

Does St. Paul need to step up the way it welcomes newcomers? Better encourage year-round outdoor activities for its citizens? Or make walking and biking more of a priority in its public spaces?

The Knight Foundation has chosen those projects as finalists in a new grant program that will fund innovative ways to make cities more successful. The Pioneer Press reports some 7,000 individuals and organizations, including 274 from St. Paul, entered the "Knight City Challenge," with ideas to help cities "attract talent, level its socioeconomic playing field and help citizens become more involved."

The Fort Wayne News Sentinel explains that the proposals affect the 26 cities in which the Knight Ridder chain owned newspapers in 1998. The foundation has committed $5 million to this first year of the Knight Cities Challenge. Finalists chosen to receive grants will receive a share of that $5 million through what the foundation calls “a national call for new ideas to make the 26 communities where Knight invests more vibrant places to live and work.”

The St. Paul-based projects on the list of 126 national finalists named Monday include an idea submitted by Greater MSP which would "...invite all residents to come together for an outdoor activity – whether it's ice fishing or summer canoeing – once each season." The organization said this could "change the way people perceive the city and its climate."

A community artist organizer at Springboard for the Arts suggested that "city leaders hold a ceremony for...newcomers each month ... providing them with a welcome gift in the form of a warm hat for Minnesota winters." And the mayor's office suggested that the city could "...embed a fellow in the city who ensures that walking, biking and public spaces are a priority in all city projects."

All 26 Knight communities are represented in the pool of finalists.

Ideas from various cities around the country include staging dinner parties to bring residents together to shape the future of their cities, competitive video gaming street arcades and using master barbers to partner with professional landscapers to transform vacant lots. Submissions came from public and government organizations as well as "design experts, urban planning organizations and individuals focused on making their cities more successful."

Winners will be announced in the spring.

Next Up

prison, Rush City cell block

Another Minnesota prison inmate dies after COVID-19 diagnosis

The virus has killed at least six Minnesota inmates.

leech lake band of ojibwe sign

11,760 acres of land wrongly taken from Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe will be returned

The Senate and now the House have passed a bill that effectively returns the land. It's now headed for the president's signature.

Karl-Anthony Towns

Timberwolves release first half of 2020-21 regular season schedule

The second half of the schedule will be announced at a later date.

reindeer como zoo

Watch live: Como Zoo's live reindeer cam is back for December

The live feed will run 24/7 allowing you to keep an eye on Santa's antlered helpers.

sleeping

Three simple ways to boost your immune health heading into winter

Eating right is one thing, but there are other ways to stay healthy as the days shorten.

Taylor Rogers

Why Twins fans shouldn't give up on Taylor Rogers

The Twins closer struggled in 2020 but could rebound next season.

Co. Rd. 2 crash, Wakefield Twp.

Teen driver leaves road, crashes into three trees

Fortunately, the 16-year-old was not injured.

mndot deer  tunnel 1

Minnesota is getting its first highway crossing for animals

This will provide a safe way for animals to cross the street, and hopefully limit deer-vehicle collisions.

Screen Shot 2020-12-04 at 11.00.30 AM

Money Gal Coaching: Habits of a millionaire, just in time for the holidays?

Kelly Blodgett started Money Gal Coaching after paying down nearly $50K in debt in 18 months.

Related