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Does your city want to embrace the winter, rather than merely endure it?
Apply for Wintermission!
Wintermission will coach three U.S. cities to plan, pilot, and implement creative solutions to increase social interaction and physical activity among children, newcomer families, and other vulnerable communities in public spaces during the coldest, darkest months of the year.
Applications, offered by nonprofit 8 80 Cities, are due Nov. 29, 2018.
“Building a culture of public life outside in winter also helps build a culture of public life in all seasons,” according to the 8 80 Cities website.
Improving Social and Physical Activity in Winter
Fewer people spend time outdoors in the winter, which contributes to lower rates of physical activity and social interaction.
Vulnerable populations, like children and newcomers, are disproportionately affected by social isolation and reduced physical activity, both of which have negative mental and physical health consequences.
The lack of winter-friendly design and programming in public spaces like streets, roads, sidewalks, parks, plazas, libraries, school grounds, and community centers, is partially to blame.
Cities can better leverage these spaces to create safe, accessible, and engaged communities during the winter season.
Wintermission is a two-year project led by 8 80 Cities, a non-profit focused on livability and sustainability.
Their philosophy: if everything we did in our cities prioritized the safety and health of 8-year-olds and 80-year-olds, then we would create successful cities for all.
“We believe that cities have the capacity to lead the charge in addressing social isolation by embracing and inviting public life during the time of year when people feel least inspired to do so,” according to the 8 80 Cities website.
For Wintermission, three winning communities will become Winter City Vanguard cities and receive:
- Technical assistance to implement winter-based pilot projects and develop a Winter City Strategy
- Up to $15,000 to cover material expenses to implement pilot projects
- An all-expenses-paid trip for three team members to attend the Winter Cities Shake Up conference in Saskatoon, SK on Jan. 23-26, 2019
- Ongoing capacity-building and mentorship opportunities from global leaders in winter city building
8 80 Cities and partners encourage applications from municipal government departments and elected representatives. Applications are due Nov. 29, 2018. Winners will be announced in December 2018.
Key collaborators and partners for Wintermission are the Children and Nature Network, National League of cities Institute for Youth, Education, and Families, and the Network of Winter City Champions. Support comes from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Global Ideas Fund at CAF America.
After the project, 8 80 Cities will compile the lessons learned from the three participating cities in an online 8 80 Winter City Toolkit that will serve as the central knowledge and networking hub for winter city planning in North America.