St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman on Tuesday announced that St. Paul will receive a $175,000 grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation -- money the city will use for a full-time policy fellow who will work on the mayor's 8 to 80 Vitality initiative. St. Paul was one of 32 applicants across the country to receive the award. There were more than 7,000 applicants.
“I am thrilled that the Knight Foundation recognizes the importance of the 8 to 80 Vitality initiative,” Coleman said. “Their support will ensure we can engage residents, community partners and stakeholders throughout St., Paul in strengthening our city and ensuring that our investments in streets and public spaces promote economic vitality for people of all ages.”
Based on the work of urban designer Gil Penalosa, the 8 to 80 Vitality initiative aims to increase activity and vitality on streets and in public spaces by making them accessible to people of all ages and abilities.
The grant will fund the policy fellow position for 18 months. The position will work out of the city's Planning and Economic Development Department.
"The 8 to 80 Vitality initiative has the potential to have widespread impact across St. Paul—creating new opportunities, connecting residents from diverse backgrounds, and giving people the tools to help shape the future of our city," said Polly Talen, Knight Foundation program director in St. Paul.
The Knight Cities Challenge seeks to fund ideas to make the 26 cities where Knight invests more vibrant places to live and work, according to the foundation. The challenge asks: What's your best idea to make cities more successful?
Three other St. Paul projects were chosen as Knight Cities Challenge recipients, including 4 Play by Greater MSP, as well as Rolling Out the Welcome Hat and MN Nice Breakers - both by artist Jun-Li Wang.
For more information about the 8 to 80 Vitality initiative, click here.
To learn more about the Knight Cities Challenge, visit www.knightcities.org.