Knight Launches Civic Innovators Video Channel


Municipalities that are looking for ways to make their cities more livable, walkable and generally “doable” may want to keep an eye out for the findings of a new group headed to Copenhagen. Teams from nine Knight Foundation communities are heading abroad to study the successes of cities like Copenhagen in becoming “doable.” The effort was launched last month in Chicago at “The Doable City” forum, organized by 8-80 Cities and sponsored by Knight Foundation.

Essentially, the goal of making cities more “doable” means giving them a village like quality where residents can easily get from point A to point B without having to rely on cars or long journeys. In practice, this often means cities adopting mixed use areas common to major metropolitan areas like New York or Chicago, even without all of the major metropolitan population. Mixed use living spaces typically involve buildings that may have residences on the upper floors and retail on lower floors, multi-family dwellings, and/or urban design that makes liberal use of sidewalks, bike lanes, and green spaces.

At the Doable City Forum, city teams came to learn and showcase their own successes. From that group, five city teams were selected to travel on a six-day study trip to Copenhagen, which consistently serves as a model for cities seeking to improve their own quality of life. The teams will take a master class on how Copenhagen came to build its world-renowned livable community, and how they can take those lessons back home.

The five city teams chosen were – Charlotte, North Carolina; Detroit, Michigan; Lexington, Kentucky; San Jose, California; St. Paul, Minnesota, and Akron, Ohio.

The Knight Foundation has also launched a civic innovators video channel that offers case study type videos with civic innovators from across the US sharing their expertise. The first group of videos includes participants from the Chicago forum organized by 8-80 Cities.