Miami Foundation conducting 2015 Public Space Challenge

The Miami Foundation’s 2015 Public Space Challenge is accepting idea submissions through Apr. 1.

Now in its third year, the contest seeks ideas to connect Miami-Dade residents by creating, improving and activating public gathering places like parks, libraries, plazas and playgrounds. Anyone — individuals, groups, agencies, nonprofits or companies — can submit ideas at

The Miami Foundation increased the prize amount from previous years, with a total of $250,000 in grants to be awarded for 2015’s winning ideas, up from $130,000 last year. Health Foundation of South Florida will contribute $30,000 of the total for ideas promoting healthy exercise activities and access to fresh food.

“We increased our commitment this year because we have seen Miamians’ increasing demand for better public spaces. Our community understands how vital open spaces are to improving our quality of life and making Miami a vibrant and engaging place to live,” said Javier Alberto Soto, president and CEO of The Miami Foundation.

“The Challenge offers a way for everyone to help advance the cause by putting solutions in the hands of residents who have a passion for this place,” he added. “More dollars mean we can invest in bigger ideas, mobilize more people and see greater results in the form of exciting public spaces.”

In February, to demonstrate the power of lighting to create and define a public space, Friends of the Underline lit up Vizcaya Metrorail Station a different color nightly from Feb. 14 to 21. The installation brought attention to their Underline Project, a planned transformation of the 10-mile M-Path beneath the Metrorail from the Miami River to Dadeland South into a linear park that will enhance connectivity, mobility and biking safety for thousands of Miami-Dade residents.

Last year, the Public Space Challenge garnered 410 ideas, up from 263 ideas in 2013. Individuals can get expert advice for crafting their ideas by attending training seminars around Miami-Dade County in March. Following the submission period, community experts and “placemakers” will evaluate all of the ideas and select finalists, who will develop full proposals for the final selection round.

Established in 1967, The Miami Foundation uses civic leadership, community investment and philanthropy to improve the quality of life for everyone who calls Greater Miami home. The Foundation partnered with individuals, families and corporations who have created more than 600 personalized, philanthropic Funds. Thanks to them, the Foundation has awarded over $200 million in grants and currently manage $225 million in assets to build a better Miami. Learn more about the Foundation and the Our Miami Report at and

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