Today we’re announcing the Knight Cities Challenge, a broad effort to uncover innovative ideas to make our cities more successful, and we’re investing $5 million to support projects that do this.
We don’t have preconceived notions on what winning ideas will look like, but the research on what matters to the success of cities is clear. Cities that want long-term success should stimulate increases in talent, opportunity and engagement.
Talent is critical because the percentage of college graduates in your population explains 58 percent of your metro area’s success (if you measure success by per capita income). And talented people, who are among the most mobile groups in society, want to live in vibrant, diverse communities.
Opportunity is critical because it is fundamental to getting more people on the ladder of economic success. Cities that break down economic divides and provide opportunity to people from different backgrounds stimulate ideas and connections that enable their communities to thrive.