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Two Fort Wayne Finalists Chosen in Knight Cities Challenge

Knight Foundation

Two ideas to improve life in Fort Wayne are among the finalists eligible for grants from the Knight Cities Challenge. The announcement was made Monday.

The Knight Foundation received more than 7,000 ideas to increase talent, opportunity, and engagement in cities across the country. Among the 126 finalists chosen was Kate Riordan, who works on bike and pedestrian projects for the City of Fort Wayne.

She’s only lived in Fort Wayne for about six months.

“I’ve noticed all these really great urban corridors like Broadway, Calhoun, Wells, that I feel like could be really great places," says Riordan, "but they’re just kind of missing more retail, more people.”

So her idea is a “pop-up neighborhood.” Riordan says people are attracted to unique areas with a high density of places to shop and eat. If chosen, her grant would go towards subsidizing rent for entrepreneurs in an up and coming neighborhood.

The second Fort Wayne finalist is Jim Walker, of the Indianapolis based non-profit Big Car Collaborative. His idea is to bring together local artists, city planners, and other community members to repurpose vacant buildings.

Finalists have a few weeks to submit final applications. Winners will be announced by April.