Miamians got fired up for the 2013 Our Miami Public Space Challenge and submitted more than 250 ideas for activating local public spaces. We launched the 2014 Challenge in March to garner even more inspiring submissions, and you did it again. The Challenge closed with 410 awesome ideas for improving open places in our neighborhoods across Miami-Dade County.

Folks all over Greater Miami seized the opportunity. Perman Terry wants to reconstruct a basketball court in Liberty City. He hopes to create a space where families interact while children play, fostering a more neighborly environment.

La Paloma Garden Walk is an idea to create a network of gardens strategically placed along sidewalk corners in an unincorporated part of north Miami. In an area without a public park, the walk will activate an unlikely public space and inspire family gardening.

Other ideas repurpose a part of Miami so residents can gather in unique ways. The South Florida Startup Network has an idea to help entrepreneurs in Little Havana pursue their dreams by converting an open space into a technology hub. Equipped with free Wi-Fi, desk space and opportunities for networking, this startup tent would connect like-minded young professionals.

Miamians showed real vision through the Challenge, using interesting methods to address needs. Daniel Caballero sees an opportunity to make your commute more pleasant – installing free libraries on Metrorail platforms. This book sharing initiative promotes literacy while improving the overall commuter experience.

This level of enthusiasm is exactly what we aimed to achieve with the Public Space Challenge. We encouraged any idea, big or small, knowing you would take charge and develop some compelling submissions. Your ideas help us fuel the conversation for a more connected and engaged urban environment.

Community experts and placemaking professionals have reviewed submitted ideas and selected finalists to submit full proposals. The final grant winners will be announced in June. Health Foundation of South Florida will match our $100,000 investment with a $30,000 contribution for ideas promoting healthy lifestyles and exercise.

We encourage everyone to continue developing their ideas. You can build a team, collaborate with like-minded Miamians and receive support from our powerful crowd-resourcing platform partner, ioby.

Your passion for Miami continues to fuel what we do at The Miami Foundation. Thanks for making our work possible.

See the full list of 2014 Public Space Challenge finalists.

Stuart Kennedy is the senior programs officer leading the Our Miami project at The Miami Foundation

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