IMAGE: The Knight Public Spaces Fellows. From left to right: Sam Gill, Knight Foundation; Robert Hammond, Friends of the High Line; Eric Klinenberg, New York University; Chelina Odbert, Kounkuey Design Initiative; Erin Salazar, Exhibition District; Anuj Gupta, Reading Terminal Market; Kathryn Ott Lovell, Philadelphia Parks and Recreation; Alberto Ibargüen, Knight Foundation; Lilly Weinberg, Knight Foundation. (Not pictured: Walter Hood, Hood Design.) Credit: Albert Yee.
On June 19, 2019, IPK Director Eric Klinenberg is named one of seven inaugural Knight Public Spaces Fellows. Please see below for an excerpt from the Knight Foundation’s press release for more information.
To advance the creation of public spaces that transform communities, seven outstanding individuals from across the United States have been named Knight Public Spaces Fellows, an initiative of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. Launched this year, the project recognizes leaders, experts, and practitioners who have created or influenced great public spaces that strengthen community engagement and connection. Fellows will each receive $150,000 in recognition of their contributions and to advance their work.
Fellows include talented leaders with exemplary track records of crafting public spaces — parks, plazas, trails, community spaces and streets — that create opportunities for civic engagement. The fellowship aligns with Knight’s support of public spaces as a means to connect communities, drawing people out of their homes and encouraging them to meet, play and discuss important issues, while finding common ground.
Fellows will receive $150,000 in flexible funding to provide them with the space and freedom to unleash their creativity. They will also have access to opportunities to work with and learn from each other, and to elevate their work to a wider audience. The program will encourage the sharing of lessons across cities, and in particular the communities where Knight invests. Participants are expected to build on their ongoing work, while developing new efforts for the field.
“These rare people see something different when they look at streets, parks and sidewalks —they see a vision of how our communities could look, feel and be different,” said Sam Gill, Knight Foundation vice president for communities and impact. “We hope this recognition accelerates their visionary work and invites others to challenge the way we think about and use public space.”
Fellows were identified through a national call for nominations that launched in February, which generated more than 2,000 candidates. They were selected by Knight staff in collaboration with experts and leaders in the field. The Fellows were announced at the inaugural Knight Public Spaces Forum this afternoon in Philadelphia.