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

2019 Emerging City Champions Announced

We are excited to announce the twenty innovative community leaders from cities across the U.S. selected to participate in the 2019 Emerging City Champions fellowship program.

Emerging City Champions is a fellowship and funding program for young civic innovators with bold ideas to enhance public space, mobility, and civic engagement. This program is powered by 8 80 Cities and John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

8 80 Cities will host the champs for a week this July on our home turf of Toronto. The Toronto studio aims to provide opportunities to build their capacity, co-learn with their peers and past champs, and to most important to have fun exploring the city as a classroom and learning the stories of grassroots champions and leaders like themselves.

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From the Blog: Lessons from the School Streets Movement

Ever heard of a School Street? Let our special guest contributor Nick Sanderson illuminate you in our feature 8 80 Blog. Nick is an independent consultant who worked for many years on policy, communications and engagement for the transport and planning sectors in the UK. We can learn a lot from these successful interventions that have taken hold across the pond.

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People Aren't Disabled, Their City Is

What makes the City of Breda the receiver of the 2019 Access City Award?

Emily Yates tracks her journey through Breda and identified what the city gets right with inclusive physical access.

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Remove Parking and Watch a City Bloom 

In this video, Streetfilms makes the case on why is it good to shrink parking spaces in cities. It's not only an issue of "the world against the car culture", but it's also a matter of happiness, of how you can allow people to enjoy their city in a more active and vibrant way.

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Think your Home Is Far From Buses?   

If your answer to this question is yes, the probabilities you are living in a transit desert are high. 8 80 Cities' project coordinator Candice Leung joins other residents of Scarborough, a suburb in Toronto, and Osobe Waberi from the Discourse, to humanize these areas that are transit-deprived.

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We're thrilled to partner with Earth Day Canada on MyCityToo, an initiative to advance outdoor free play and independent mobility for children across Toronto. My City Too is generously funded by the Ontario Trillium Foundation with support from Unicef Canada and Green Communities Canada and is working closely with the City of Toronto's Child-Friendly TO initiative.

If you want to get involved, take this short survey about outdoor free play (the ability for children to play outside on their own) and independent mobility (the ability for children to walk, bike, and take public transit on their own). Data and quotes will help inform and develop the strategy to advance outdoor free play and independent mobility for children across the city.

Learn more at

The City at Eye Level for Kids  

How are organizations and governments around the world working to improve cities for children? Get the inspiring answers from this great open resource edited by Rosa Danenberg, Vivian Doumpa, and Hans Karssenberg.

We are pleased to have contributed an article based on our Bernard van Leer Foundation report: Building Better Cities With Young Children and Families

Everyone involved in the task of improving cities -urban planners, local municipalities, architects, politicians, developers, entrepreneurs and those engaged in the well-being and future of toddlers, children, youth and families and their environments- should dive into this collecction of best practices.

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It Takes a Grandpa and a Brush to Save a Village

What would you do if the only place you know as home might disappear? 

Huang Yung-fu or Rainbow Grandpa, as others refer to him, one day found himself alone, as the only resident of Taichung,  his village in Taiwan, threatened to being demolished. 

Instead of leaving as other villagers and friends did, he decided to stay and bring art to te houses and streets turning his home town into a colouful place, which today is known as the Rainbow Park. Writer Jessica Stewart shares his community transformation story. 

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