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 2023 MICD Just City Mayoral Fellowship, taking place in a hybrid virtual and in-person format in Spring 2023.
The 2023 Fellowship will help mayors develop and strengthen approaches to embedding justice and equity goals within government policy and practices, as well as help mayors design strategies for achieving more just and equitable outcomes within their communities. This year’s cohort of mayors will be introduced to the concepts of social impact and justice-centered design, equity framework measurement tools, and innovative design practices that increase just and equitable outcomes. Building from past Fellowships, this year’s program will continue to 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 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.
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 injustices manifest in the social, economic, and physical infrastructures of their cities and develop manifestos of action for their communities.
The 2023 MICD Just City Mayoral Fellows are: Albany, NY Mayor Kathy Sheehan; Albuquerque, NM Mayor Tim Keller; Arlington, TX Mayor Jim Ross; Kansas City, MO Mayor Quinton Lucas; Monroe, LA Mayor Friday Ellis; Pensacola, FL Mayor D.C. Reeves; Santa Fe, NM Mayor Alan Webber; and St. Louis, MO Mayor Tishaura O. Jones.
“I’m delighted to see this powerful collaboration between the Just City Lab and the Mayors’ Institute on City Design continue for a third year,” said Sarah Whiting, dean and Josep Lluís Sert Professor of the Harvard Graduate School of Design. “This year’s cohort of mayors comes from the most diverse group of cities yet–from the southwest to the northeast, with a wide range of population sizes. We welcome them to the Graduate School of Design, where they will have an opportunity to engage with our faculty and students, learning from our justice-centered curriculum and research, and leaving with new expertise to further equity and opportunity in each of their cities.”
“The Just City Mayoral Fellowship is a powerful example of how arts and design help us to examine our reality, imagine a better future, and ensure our cities reflect the ideals we aspire to as a nation,” said Maria Rosario Jackson, PhD, chair of the National Endowment for the Arts. “This program recognizes the critical role that mayors play in driving local change and I look forward to seeing how they use this experience to bolster justice and equity in their communities.”
“Mayors are leading our cities through a transformative time, using new federal funding streams to create once-in-a-generation change,” says Tom Cochran, CEO and executive director of the United States Conference of Mayors. “They are tasked with uniting their communities around real solutions and making the most of these 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.”
On April 21, the 2023 Fellows will come together for Mayors Imagining the Just City: Volume 3 to discuss strategies for using planning and design interventions to address racial injustice in each of their cities. The program will be free and open to the public.
Parts of this press release also appeared on the MICD website.