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.

The first stop for program participants is the Emerging City Champions Studio in Toronto, Canada. The four-day 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.


The fellowship is open to anyone with an innovative project idea and the drive to see it through in one of Knight Foundation’s investment communities. Applicants may be activists, educators, tactical urbanists, designers, artists, entrepreneurs, and more. They want diverse voices with fresh perspectives, talent, and commitment to building vibrant neighborhoods and cities.


Champions will receive USD 5,000 in seed funding to implement one community project in one year. All travel expenses are covered by the program.

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