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Friends of MICD,

We've been following your cities' creative responses to the new need for physical distancing: from "slow streets" to "streateries," cities large and small have rolled out new programs on streets at lightning speed. At the same time, these programs have sparked a critical, nuanced conversation around safety, equity, and justice: who are these programs meant to serve, and who do they actually keep safe? Do they help or hurt our commuting essential workers? Do they increase our ability to move freely or increase policing of our vulnerable populations? Do they expand or hinder our dedication to long-term community engagement?

We'll dive into these questions and more during next week's Mayors' Virtual Seminar on temporary and long-term street design changes rooted in equity (August 11). Sign up below, and feel free to invite a member of your staff to listen in. We'll share the presentation afterwards, but as always, the open discussion is limited to live participants.

We're delighted that so many of you have joined us for this new series, addressing the overlapping challenges of racial injustice and pandemic response head-on. (Check out all the past presentations below.) What do you think so far? What other topics would you like to see? Let me know at

Trinity Simons
Executive Director
Mayors' Institute on City Design


Mayors’ Virtual Seminar: Streets for Pandemic Response & Recovery

Tuesday, August 11  |  3:30-4:45pm ET

Zabe Bent  |  Director of Design, NACTO
Dr. Destiny Thomas  |  Founder and CEO, Thrivance Group
Ariel Ward  |  Transportation Engineer, SFMTA

The COVID-19 pandemic has layered a viral public health crisis on top of three pre-existing public health crises in U.S. cities: climate change, traffic fatalities, and racial injustice. Through their recent resource, Streets for Pandemic Response and Recovery, NACTO has documented and encouraged quick-build mobility projects and practices, in order to weather the acute crisis posed by COVID-19 and transition to a just, sustainable recovery. Our speakers will explore the various ways city transportation agencies have managed dramatic shifts in mobility in recent months, and dissect ways to make design and policy decisions rooted in equity.

Attending mayors will learn about recent projects and the principles behind them, then participate in a discussion of practices and process that can lead to just outcomes in their own communities.
Mayors: Register Now


Parks Are Your New Asset

Recorded August 4

Renowned landscape architect Ernest Wong of site design group helped mayors explore a variety of park design solutions to encourage social distancing and healthy travel, as well as policy ideas to promote park maintenance while driving solutions for other social equity issues. Watch Ernie's presentation below.

Watch the Presentation


Safe Places, Active Spaces – A Design-Based Approach to Community Safety 

Recorded July 29

This powerful seminar introduced mayors to the BlackSpace Manifesto, a guide for a design process that centers community safety and empowerment in historically marginalized communities. Architect Ifeoma Ebo shared examples of successful projects that reimagined the space around public housing, parks, streetscapes and more through community-powered design. Watch Ifeoma's inspiring presentation below.
Watch the Presentation


Monuments – Reckoning with the Past, Envisioning the Future

Recorded July 22

As cities grapple with critical conversations about monuments and public space, mayors can lead by creating spaces for communities to heal and move towards a more equitable future. Watch the poignant presentation from Bryan Lee, Jr. of Colloqate Design and Paul Farber of Monument Lab below.
Watch the Presentation
The Mayors’ Institute on City Design is a leadership initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with the U.S. Conference of Mayors. Since 1986, the Mayors’ Institute has helped transform communities through design by preparing mayors to be the chief urban designers of their cities.
Copyright © 2020 Mayors' Institute on City Design, All rights reserved.

Mayors' Institute on City Design
1620 Eye Street NW, 4th Floor
Washington, DC 20006

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