Niantic has embarked on a new adventure by forming a longterm partnership with the Knight Foundation. Knight Foundation promotes engaged communities, which is in line with what Niantic and Hanke have been preaching about for months.
Niantic will be sponsoring PokéWalks through certain US cities (names unknown). The city will close off a street for car traffic, allowing Trainers to walk and bike along a route.
The partnership’s first event will launch on May 7 in Charlotte, North Carolina, as part of Knight’s Open Streets events.
Interestingly, The City of Charlotte chose the route:
Pokémon GO will provide a virtual layer atop this walk for those who want to play, but the map was designed by the community: The City of Charlotte chose 16 existing PokéStops and two Gyms to highlight along this route, promoting spaces like a rose garden and veterans’ park, while players enjoy the more frequent appearance of some Pokémon for those trying to catch ’em all.
As mentioned above, players will enjoy the “more frequent appearance of some Pokémon”, implying that a micro spawn event will take place along the route.
Moreover, we learned that Niantic is focusing on historic sights and places in cities and urban communities:
Niantic only wants to expand those experiences, with a new option that allows the community to add its own historic, and cultural, PokéStops.
Hanke also shared more details on his plans and vision for Pokémon GO:
I developed this idea, that maybe we could use technology to help people reclaim public space, says Hanke. Not from anyone, but from dereliction, from neglect.
These are very exciting news for US based trainers, hopefully this initiative will also extend overseas. If not the entire initiative, at least the community tools for adding new historic and cultural PokéStops.