North Broad Renaissance Receives $123,000 Grant from Knight Foundation
Funding to Help Bring Augmented Reality to North Broad Street
PHILADELPHIA, PA (January 27, 2022) – The North Broad Renaissance (NBR) has been awarded a $123,000 grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation to support innovative community engagement along Philadelphia’s North Broad Street. A component of the Lights of North Broad marketing campaign, the augmented reality (AR) app experience will illuminate the past, present, and future of the North Broad Corridor
“The Lights of North Broad AR is an interactive experience that will broadcast the vibrant developments and the storied history along the North Broad corridor,” states Shalimar Thomas, Executive Director of the North Broad Renaissance. “This grant from the Knight Foundation is the first step to help us engage the community and visitors alike by taking them on a journey through the past, present, and future – using the North Poles as a guiding line to give voice to the evolving narrative that is North Broad.”
In the next five years, the North Broad Renaissance understands the importance of business attraction and retention, and knows that the most effective path to achieve those priorities is through awareness, assistance, and innovation. However, these efforts cannot be separate initiatives, but rather an integrated campaign. As a result of several brainstorming sessions, partnerships, and meetings, The Lights of North Broad campaign was created and will incorporate promotion of the corridor, business attraction and retention and augmented reality.
“Technology is a tool that can help create stronger communities and boost resident engagement,” said Lilian Coral, Knight Foundation’s director for national strategy and technology innovation. “North Broad Renaissance will use augmented reality not only to immerse Philadelphians in their city’s rich history, but also to increase engagement with North Broad Street, benefitting local businesses and strengthening resident ties to their community and each other.”
“Much of our work in Philadelphia supports the equitable development of engaging and vibrant public spaces,” said Ellen Hwang, Knight Foundation’s Philadelphia program director. “The North Broad Renaissance project will bring the stories that surround the North Broad Street community to life and enhance the engagement along the corridor as it undergoes change.”