8-80 Cities Forum: The Doable City gathers community leaders from across the country to foster more livable cities

Knight Foundation investing $274,000 to build a civic innovation network

Chicago – March 31, 2014 – From June 16-18, “8-80 Cities Forum: The Doable City” will gather civic leaders from across the country in Chicago to discuss ways to make cities more vibrant places where people can walk, bike, access transit and enjoy parks and other public spaces. Supported by $274,000 from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, this inaugural forum will focus on devising solutions to community challenges that produce immediate results.

The forum aims to create a network of change-makers by building connections among community leaders and institutions, breaking down silos, and sharing what is possible in their cities. Community leaders are encouraged to register for the event, which will feature sessions with leading urban thinkers and hands-on activities.

Speakers include: Charles Montgomery, author of “Happy City: Transforming Our Lives Through Urban Design”; Dan Burden, named by Time magazine as one of the six most important civic innovators in the world (2001); Edward Uhlir, executive director of Chicago’s Millennium Park; Gia Biagi, current chief of staff of the Chicago Park District; Mia Birk, president of Alta Planning + Design and author of “Joyride: Pedaling Toward a Healthier Planet”; and Alberto Ibargüen, president and CEO of Knight Foundation.

There is so much that can be done in our cities to make them happier, healthier and more prosperous. But change is hard. This forum will teach people about what can be done now, and how we can move from talking to doing,” said Gil Penalosa, executive director of 8-80 Cities and former commissioner of parks, sport and recreation for the city of Bogota, Colombia.

“Connecting community leaders to the best thinking and best tools for building more livable communities is essential for economic vitality,” said Carol Coletta, Knight Foundation vice president of community and national initiatives. “This forum will convene change makers from cities all over the country to discover great ideas and a network that can help put civic innovation in motion.”

About 8-80 Cities

8-80 Cities is a non-profit organization based in Toronto, Canada. We are dedicated to contributing to the transformation of cities into places where people can walk, bike, access public transit and visit vibrant parks and public spaces. Our approach is to engage people and communities across multiple sectors to inspire the creation of cities that are easily accessible, safe and enjoyable for all. We achieve our mission through grant projects, advocacy work and our innovative services.

About the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

Knight Foundation supports transformational ideas that promote quality journalism, advance media innovation, engage communities and foster the arts. We believe that democracy thrives when people and communities are informed and engaged. For more, visit www.knightfoundation.org


Anusha Alikhan, Director of Communications, Knight Foundation, 305-908-2677, media@knightfoundation.org

Sarah Gastle, Event Coordinator, 8-80 Cities, 416-591-7404 ext. 7016, sgastle@8-80cities.org


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