Miami Foundation event launches Our Miami Public Space Challenge

Miami Foundation event launches Our Miami Public Space Challenge

Javier Alberto Soto, president and CEO of The Miami Foundation

More than 400 young professionals, local change-agents and engaged Miamians filled The Stage Miami for The Miami Foundation’s Our Miami Project Launch.

The kickoff event on Wednesday, July 31, introduced two new projects: the Public Space Challenge and Match305, a talent retention project. Both programs are part of the foundation’s Our Miami initiative, which fosters community by building attachment to the city, developing public spaces and retaining young talent in Miami.

Our Miami uses research from the foundation’s Our Miami: Soul of the City study that clearly shows attracting and retaining young, talented and creative people in Greater Miami will grow the economy faster than other, more traditional measures of economic development.

“Looking around the room at all of this young talent, I can’t help but feel optimistic about Miami’s future,” said foundation president and CEO Javier Alberto Soto during his remarks. “We are not a place where you have to find your niche within a sprawling, established city. Planting your roots in Miami gives you a chance to shape this young, dynamic community. Our role on the global stage depends on your vision and your contributions to our growth.”

The Miami Foundation developed the Public Space Challenge to uncover the best ideas for creating and improving local public spaces: parks, libraries, public buildings, markets, plazas, playgrounds or any place where people can convene and connect. Anyone can submit ideas. Community experts and professional place makers will identify the top ideas; The Miami Foundation will invest $100,000 to make the ideas become reality. The Health Foundation of South Florida joined the challenge, adding an additional $20,000 to fund public space ideas focused on nutritious food access and physical activity. The Miami Foundation also launched Match305, a talent retention project and Web survey. The online tool measures an individual’s “attachment” to Greater Miami and provides suggestions about how to become more engaged where he or she lives. Results will be made available to community stakeholders to help guide talent retention efforts.

The tool is based on research from a Georgetown University study and has been instrumental in reducing year-over-year employee turnover at Fortune 50 companies. Florida International University signed on as a partner in the project, investing $10,000 with Match305 to aid their ongoing local graduate retention work.

The Public Space Challenge will accept ideas through Sept. 19. Anyone in Miami- Dade County can submit a challenge idea or participate in Match305 by visiting www.ourmiami.org

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