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4 Philly urbanists were just named Emerging City Champions

Public space. May 15, 2017 Category: FeaturedFundingShort
Four Philadelphians just got some cash and national recognition for their ideas to improve public space.

It’s through the Emerging City Champions fellowship program, an initiative of the nonprofit 8 80 Cities and funded by the Knight Foundation. Each year, 20 fellows are awarded $5,000 each to “implement an innovative project to enhance public spaces, mobility or civic engagement in their city over the next 12 months.”

Last year’s champions included Urban Creators cofounder Alex Epstein, Philadelphia Chinatown Development Corporation’s Sarah Yeung and Asociación Puertorriqueños en Marcha’s Brad Vassallo.

The 2015 class included NKCDC’s Akeem Dixon, North 5th Street Revitalization Project’s Philip Green, Cooper’s Ferry Partnership’s Victoria Gilbert and Rising Sons’ Alex Peay.

Peay will also present at the four-day Emerging City Champions Studio for new champions in Toronto this June.

Here are the Philly champions of 2017 and their projects, as described by 8 80 Cities Interim ED Ryan O’Connor:

  • Michael Fichman — “A public forum and a series of private round-table discussions about regulatory and economic issues in Philadelphia will focus on culture, public safety, cultural inclusion, affordability, global competitiveness, planning regulations, and more.”
  • LaTierra Piphus — “A community Time Bank, launched by the Womanist Working Collective, will use time instead of money as part of an exchange system for completing a service for another participant.”
  • Michael O’Bryan — “A Youthful Vision of Philadelphia (YVOP) will work with youth 14-19 to create a multimedia online tool and live performance capturing youth voices on civic and social issues.”
  • Erika Guadalupe Nunez — “Juntos Ink. will be an accessible series of monthly artmaking workshops that unite diverse immigrant communities living in South Philadelphia across linguistic and cultural barriers.”
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