Knight Blog

The blog of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

With your ideas and $305K, The Miami Foundation is fueling a livelier Miami

March 27, 2015, 9:52 a.m., Posted by Javier Alberto Soto

Javier Alberto Soto is president and CEO of The Miami Foundation. Below he writes about the Public Space Challenge, an initiative of The Miami Foundation.

The Public Space Challenge turns 3 this year. Over the last several weeks of events, we’ve watched the community come together in vibrant, reimagined gathering spaces. It’s a testament to how Greater Miami has taken this idea and ran with it.

In 2013, we set out to create a unique platform for funding new and enhanced public spaces. Both the 2012 and 2014 “Our Miami” reports highlighted the importance of parks and public spaces for our residents’ physical well-being and facilitating connections to our city and each other. Miamians have taken that concept, and coupled with the hard work of numerous local organizations leading this cause year-round, ignited a countywide movement, championing the expansion and protection of these important spaces that belong to all of us.

Looking across languages: Seeing the world through mass translation of local news

March 27, 2015, 9:46 a.m., Posted by Kalev H. Leetaru

Below, Kalev H. Leetaru, a data scientist and the past 2013-2014 Yahoo Fellow at Georgetown University, writes about the future of mass translation of the world’s news media.

Imagine a world without language barriers, where journalists and citizens can access real-time information from anywhere in the world in any language, seamlessly translated into their native tongue and where the articles they write are equally accessible to speakers of all the world’s languages. Authors from Douglas Adams to Ethan Zuckerman have long articulated such visions of a post-lingual society in which mass translation eliminates barriers to information access and communication. Yet, even as technologies like the Web break down geographic barriers and make it possible to hear from anywhere in the world, linguistic barriers mean most of those voices remain steadfastly inaccessible

New tools aim to help transform San Jose, Calif., into a more livable city

March 27, 2015, 9 a.m., Posted by Stuart Cohen and Ann Cheng


Stuart Cohen is executive director of TransForm, California’s leading transportation advocate, and Ann Cheng is director of GreenTRIP, TransForm’s green building certification program for new residential, mixed-use development. San Jose is one of 26 Knight communities

Silicon Valley is the world’s leading center of innovation. Yet San Jose is trapped in the era of floppy disks and 8-track tapes when it comes to mobility and development. Traffic congestion is getting worse every day, but we are still building homes and apartments in San Jose like it is 1978, expecting every household to own two or more cars. 

When we design new homes around cars – with massive garages and seas of parking lots – it drives up the price of building homes, often by $100,000 or more. The costs are even higher when you consider the loss of valuable space that could have been used for community gardens, gathering places, playgrounds – or even more housing.