Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Knight Cities Challenge Names Eight San Jose Finalists

Last week the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation announced 158 finalists across 26 communities in their second annual Knight Cities Challenge. The contest is a national call for ideas that will make local communities more vibrant places to live and work. The three main themes of the contest are helping cities attract and keep the best talent, expanding economic opportunities, and encouraging civic engagement. 

Eight San Jose proposals made the cut and are finalists. Winners will be announced in the Spring and will receive a share of $5 million. All of the San Jose projects sound fantastic to me. Have a look at the list below and let us know which sound most worthy of funding.

San Jose Knight Cities Challenge Finalists

Urban Food Hub by Veggielution (submitted by Cayce Hill): Increasing economic opportunity with a community hub in Emma Prusch Park that connects food entrepreneurs and residents through a market, classes and other events that celebrate San Jose’s history and culture.
Smart Street by San Jose State University (submitted by Jerry Gao): Creating a “smart street” that showcases cutting-edge technology, helps to attract more people to the city and bolsters San Jose’s brand identity.
Post Street Night Market (submitted by Justin Triano): Expanding economic opportunity with a recurring night market that features local crafts, food and entertainment.
SITability Project by URBAN SPACEship (submitted by Leemor Chandally): Creating a network of modular street furniture designed to encourage interaction between people in public spaces.
San Jose Local Maker Incubator by Local Label dba San Jose Made (SJMADE) (submitted by Marie Millares): Increasing economic opportunity with a business incubator for local makers and artists seeking to turn their passion into a full-time job.
East Side Linear Park by San Jose Department of Parks, Recreation and Neighborhood Services (submitted by Marybeth Harasz): Increasing civic engagement by having residents help convert a public street into a new linear park along Havana Drive in East San Jose.
Green Necklace by Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition (submitted by Shiloh Ballard): Expanding public space and increasing community connections by permanently opening trails along San Jose’s closed canal system to pedestrians and cyclists.
The MayFeria by School of Arts and Culture at Mexican Heritage Plaza (submitted by Tamara Alvarado): Increasing civic engagement and expanding economic opportunity in San Jose’s Mayfair neighborhood with The MayFeria, which will consist of folklife events, a community task force, and a coordinator to help identify and make better use of cultural and civic assets.


  1. Post Street Night Market sounds like a winner to me.

  2. All very interesting ideas. Post Street Night Market and Smart Street very sound cool.

  3. Post Street is a very narrow and cozy street in the heart of downtown. It and Lightston Alley are definitely narrow enough so that with modifications, they could become shared spaces typical of European or Japanese cities. This means cars will drive very slowly and carefully through this space (to facilitate deliveries and emergency access) so that they can mix safely with pedestrians and bicyclists; no need for separate sidewalks. A permanent night market would go a long way to making it a safe and attractive urban space. People fly across the ocean to experience these kinds of environments. Wouldn't it be nice to have something like that in San Jose?