Join our network of changemakers.

Emerging City Champions is a fellowship program for young civic innovators with transformative ideas.
We are looking for future city leaders with creative solutions to activate public life in public spaces,
enhance mobility options, and build a culture of civic engagement in their communities. This program
elevates new voices in city building, and supports projects that strengthen communities.


Champions will receive $5,000 in seed funding to implement one community project in one year. These projects must address public space, mobility, and civic engagement challenges in the community. We are looking for projects that respond to community needs, build on local assets, and are implemented through collaboration. The projects must be based in one of the 26 cities where Knight Foundation invests (see below).

20 Champions

This program is open to anyone with an innovative project idea and the drive to see it through. Applicants may be activists, tactical urbanists, designers, artists, educators, entrepreneurs, and more. We want diverse voices with fresh perspectives, talent, and commitment to building vibrant neighborhoods and cities. Applicants must be between the ages of 19-35 at the time of applying.

ECC Studio

The first stop for program participants is the Emerging City Champions Studio in Toronto, Canada. The four-day ECC Studio equips participants with leadership training and practical tools to implement their community project. Champions participate in site tours, workshops, networking events, and engaging presentations by city building experts. All travel expenses are covered by the program.

Support Network

Champions join a supportive and inspiring network of their peers from across the country. Participants receive ongoing mentorship from experts in diverse fields such as planning, design, marketing, and more. 8 80 Cities and the Knight Foundation will expose participants to opportunities for additional funding, professional growth, and support.

Applications for the 2018 Emerging City Champions program are now closed. For program updates, sign up for the 8 80 Cities newsletter.

Become an Emerging City Champion


Eligible Communities

Questions about the program?

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