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

  • Engaged Communities

    Akron closes street to traffic—and opens it to vibrant public life

    May 22, 2015, 6:05 p.m., Posted by Susan Ruiz Patton

    A food truck during Open Streets Akron. Photo by Susan Ruiz Patton. 

    Akron Mayor-to-be Garry Moneypenny was right about the cool breeze on the Y-Bridge. Most people don’t feel it because usually they’re in their cars driving across the bridge.

    But Sunday, May 17, traffic along the 2.8-mile span of North Main Street from downtown Akron to the North Hill neighborhood of the city was blocked. That stretch of road was opened to pedestrians, bicyclists, families and lots of activities for the Open Streets Akron event, which city organizers said attracted a crowd of 2,000.

    Knight Foundation supported the event with a grant to the Downtown Akron Partnership. The money helped cover the expense of paying city police officers to manage traffic during the event.

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  • Engaged Communities

    Making better blocks in Akron, neighborhood by neighborhood

    May 22, 2015, 2:35 p.m., Posted by Susan Ruiz Patton

    Akron Better Block. Photo by Tim Fitzwater.

    The North Main Street section of the North Hill neighborhood of Akron normally looks a little empty—with unoccupied storefronts, cars speeding through, and vacant lots.

    But the street performers, sidewalk cafes, farmers market tables and busy storefronts that occupied that same block last weekend forced neighbors to see how exciting it could be.

    That vision was the intent of the Better Block event in Akron May 15-17.

    Better Block was founded by Jason Roberts of Dallas, Texas, when he rallied a bunch of friends and neighbors to show their neighborhood how much better it could be.

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  • Engaged Communities

    Hackathon ideas focus on improving Cuba’s connections

    May 22, 2015, 2:20 p.m., Posted by Carolina Wilson

    A "ciber cafe" in Cuba. Photo by Flickr user Lars Kristian Flem.

    With roughly 5 percent of its population accessing the open Internet, Cuba remains one of the least digitally connected countries in the world.

    As part of Roots of Hope’s second annual “Code for Cuba Hackathon,” participants gathered at Facebook’s headquarters in Silicon Valley this April where teams worked on innovative ideas to help more Cubans get connected.

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