The Just City Lab at the Harvard Graduate School of Design and the Mayors’ Institute on City Design (MICD) are pleased to announce the launch of the 2022 MICD Just City Mayoral Fellowship, taking place in Spring 2022.
The 2022 MICD Just City Mayoral Fellowship will help mayors navigate a just and equitable recovery from the pandemic, providing actionable ideas for city leaders rising to meet this moment of change. Building on the inaugural 2020 Fellowship, this program will explore ways to create lasting, transformational impacts from new federal funding streams such as the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and the American Rescue Plan Act. The Lab’s Just City Index will frame dynamic presentations and dialogues with experts in the fields of architecture, landscape architecture, urban planning, art activism, housing, and public policy. Over the semester-long program, mayors will identify how racial injustices manifest in the social, economic, and physical infrastructures of their cities and develop manifestos of action for their communities.
The 2022 MICD Just City Mayoral Fellows include Charleston, SC Mayor John J. Tecklenburg; College Park, MD Mayor Patrick L. Wojahn; Duluth, MN Mayor Emily Larson; Madison, WI Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway; Providence, RI Mayor Jorge O. Elorza; Richmond, VA Mayor Levar M. Stoney; Salisbury, MD Mayor Jacob R. Day; and Youngstown, OH Mayor Jamael Tito Brown.
The Just City Lab is a design lab located within the GSD and led by architect and urban planner Toni L. Griffin. The Lab has developed nearly 10 years of publications, case studies, convening tools and exhibitions that examine how design and planning can have a positive impact of addressing the long-standing conditions of social and spatial injustice in cities. The Mayors’ Institute on City Design (MICD), the nation’s preeminent forum for mayors to address city design and development issues, is a leadership initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with the United States Conference of Mayors. Since 1986, MICD has helped transform communities through design by preparing mayors to be the chief urban designers of their cities.
“I’m delighted to see this powerful collaboration between the Just City Lab and the Mayors’ Institute on City Design continue,” says Sarah Whiting, dean and Josep Lluís Sert Professor of Architecture. “This year’s cohort of mayors come from many cities that are particularly interesting to our students as they consider their future plans. These are mostly middle-sized cities that are transforming quickly as a response to the skyrocketing costs of our nation’s largest urban centers. The Mayoral Fellowship is well-timed to help these eight mayors lead in terms of equity and opportunity. Our aspiration is that ‘just cities’ will become the standard for what we expect in this country, not the exception to what so many experience today.”
“Mayors have led our communities through a series of unrelenting challenges over the past two years. With new federal funding streams, we have a unique opportunity for once-in-a-generation change,” said Tom Cochran, CEO and executive director of the United States Conference of Mayors. “Mayors are now tasked with uniting their communities around real solutions and making transformational investments. The traditional MICD experience, with its candid, small-group format and access to national design experts, is so often transformative for mayors. There is no better model for empowering mayors to find solutions in our nation’s cities, and the United States Conference of Mayors is proud to partner with the Just City Lab to help guide mayors through this important chapter of American history.”
“Building on the National Endowment for the Arts’ vision to heal, unite, and lift up communities with compassion and creativity, we are proud and humbled to continue this important collaboration between MICD and the Just City Lab,” said Jennifer Hughes, NEA director of design and creative placemaking. “This program will take the transformative power of MICD, which illuminates the power of design to tackle complex problems, and apply it to the defining challenge of our time: ensuring equity and justice for everyone.”
On April 22, the 2022 Fellows will come together to discuss strategies for using planning and design interventions to address racial injustice in each of their cities at a GSD event hosted by Griffin. The program will be free and open to the public.
Parts of this press release also appeared on the MICD website.