Your monthly roundup of news, tools, and events from the world of 8 80 Cities.

Our 2020 Emerging City Champions: Inspiring Community Change Amidst Unprecedented Challenges

We just completed the first-ever virtual launch of our annual Emerging City Champions program and it has been one of the most joyful and rejuvenating experiences our team has had the privilege of facilitating in a long time. 
While pandemic restrictions meant that we were not able to host our champs this year in Toronto for our annual learning studio, these 20 inspiring, empathetic, and passionate young leaders have blown us away with their personal stories and commitment to their communities.  
Our 2020 champs projects focus on creating more equitable public space, active mobility, and fostering inclusive civic engagement in their communities. 
We are so excited and honoured to work with these amazing individuals this year, who, with their projects, are tackling some of the most persistent challenges their cities face in a world that has completely shifted amidst a global pandemic. 
Now in its 6th year and with generous funding from Knight Foundation, we're proud that our current champs and our alumni are at the forefront of movements for justice across the U.S. 
Their leadership is more important than ever. 

Let's Take This Summer to Rethink Winter

In Toronto, where 8 80 Cities is based, hundreds of summer events have been cancelled to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, but the first warm days of the year still saw crowds of people flock to parks and streets newly opened or rebalanced for pedestrians and cyclists as part of ActiveTO. Many people followed physical distancing guidelines, while some did not. Outside of the pandemic, this kind of spring fever is likely familiar to many cities like ours that don’t do enough to invite people into public spaces in the winter, forcing summer to be a concentrated time of excitement, exploration, and connection to make up for a winter spent hunching our shoulders against bitter winds on grey streets.

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Our Streets, Our Journey: Safe Active Journeys for Kids
London's streets serve millions of journeys a day, including for young Londoners who enjoy walking, scooting and cycling to school. Increasing active journeys like these deliver many positive results - for people, the economy and the environment. We call on leaders and decision-makers across London to make active journeys safer and easier in our streets. By London's Child Obesity Taskfore.

Watch the video
8 80 Streets Danforth One Year Anniversary
One year ago, we launched 8 80 Streets Danforth, a tactical urbanism project focused on reducing road fatalities and achieving VisionZero in Toronto. We’re proud to have played a small part in reimagining this space with all our partners and volunteers, all of the advocates and the decades of passion and hard work that have helped transform Danforth Ave. into a safer street network for people. 

Learn more about the project...

Civic Assets for More Equitable Cities

We are pleased to share the recently-released report Civic Asset for More Equitable Cities, from Urban Institute, that lays out the case for investing in transformative public spaces at this pivotal moment in time.  The report examines Reimagining the Civic Commons' approach to restoring how we connect to one another in the civic assets we share—our parks, libraries, trails, recreational centers, and more. 

Read the Report...

Parks In Nonwhite Areas Are Half The Size Of Ones In Majority-White Areas 

A new study published by The Trust for Public Land found that parks serving primarily nonwhite populations are, on average, half the size of parks that serve majority-white populations, and are potentially five times more crowded.

Data showed that parks serving mostly low-income households are, on average, four times smaller — and potentially four times more crowded — than parks that serve mostly high-income households.

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Solutions for Social Isolation

In 2017, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Global Ideas for U.S. Solutions team issued a Call for Proposals (CFP) titled “Developing Solutions for Social Isolation in the United States: Learning from the World,” whose purpose was to learn how other countries were dealing with the challenges of social isolation and how to adapt those visions and ideas to the United States. 

From rising social isolation visibility and its root causes to implementing screening to aid with early identification and prevention to building an evidence base around promising interventions, and exchanging best practices across borders, there are opportunities to bring solutions to the affected populations. 

Read the brief...

AARP recently announced the award of $2.4 million in 2020 Community Challenge grants to include 184 local organizations, covering every state in the US, to advance work that creates better places for all ages.  The Community Challenge grant awards once again fund quick-action projects that improve public spaces, transportation, housing, civic engagement and more.  This year. projects fund also directly to help communities respond to COVID-19, and will support many local groups to implement projects that celebrate diversity and promote greater inclusion for all. Congratulations to all the winners!

Learn more about the winners...

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