Last year, the City of Long Beach sent out the following idea into the world: “Transforming a portion of a public park into a space that encourages creativity, collaboration and productivity, and encourages residents to take work to the park.”
It did so to hopefully score some money from the Knight Foundation—and score some money they did, winning $300K in the Knights Cities Challenge competition that asked people from across the nation to succinctly describe a project they would like to see come to fruition. These projects are to create better economic opportunities, encourage retention of talent and increase the number of citizens involved in the civic life of their cities.
Submitted by City of Long Beach’s Innovation Team, the concept revolves around what John Keisler, Innovation Team Director, calls “a lack of affordable office space for innovators, creators, and thinkers.”
In its essence, DTLB’s Harvey Milk Park—where the City made their announcement today—will be transformed into an outdoor office that has access to high-speed connections for data transfers and research, moveable furniture, and more. Essentially
“I envision small groups gathering together and capturing ideas on an outdoor chalkboard, teens and adults alike charging devices in the shade, and workers tucked into comfy chairs responding to emails on their tablets,” Councilwoman Lena Gonzalez said in a statement.
They expect thespace to activated before the year’s end.
Additionally, City Fabrick, DTLB’s nonprofit design studio, received $154K for its Placemake the Vote project. In collaboration with Long Beach City Clerk Maria de la Luz Garcia, the project will develop a kit for activating temporary spaces with things like food trucks, games, and other activities near voting polls in historically low voter turnout areas to encourage people to vote.