Master of Urban Design Alumna Awarded Knight Cities Grant

June 13, 2017

Maria Floren, a 2012 graduate of the Urban Design program at UNC Charlotte, has been awarded a grant for her proposal in the Knight Cities Challenge. The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation tasked participants to develop ideas that will make their cities more successful.         

The Knight Foundation divided five million dollars in grants to 33 projects throughout the country. Winning submissions ranged from reimagining South Carolina’s State House porch to transforming bike paths into ice skating paths in North Dakota.

Floren and co-worker Erin Gillespie submitted a project titled “Rail Trail Grove & Field” which addresses gaps in Charlotte’s current Rail Trail. The Rail Trail is a network of gardens, public art, and other unique spaces that connects over four miles of neighborhoods throughout the Queen City. The pair was awarded with a grant of $150,200 to build temporary trails, connecting the gaps in the Trail near Charlotte’s South End.

Floren and Gillespie currently serve as Planning and Development Associates for Charlotte Center City Partners. Read more about their project here and learn about additional Knight Foundation projects from across the country here.