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Mayors and friends of MICD,

Today, we’re excited to announce a new Virtual Seminar series specifically for mayors. In our conversations with mayors over the last few months, two clear needs emerged: more opportunities for mayors to dig deep, ask questions, and find solutions to the unique challenges they’re facing in this moment, and more opportunities to share mayor-to-mayor. As you all know, the Mayors’ Institute has long been a safe space for just that type of interaction. 

Each one-hour online seminar will feature a powerful presentation from some of the nation's top voices in city design, followed by a robust discussion among a small group of mayors. We'll talk about timely topics around pandemic recovery, racial justice, and the built environment: from monuments to public safety, parks to "streateries", and more. Much like MICD sessions, you'll come away with a big-picture framework as well as concrete action ideas for your city.

Mayors, you can sign up for our first two Virtual Seminars below. To ensure the free flow of ideas MICD is known for, each "closed-door" seminar is limited to a small group of mayors, so sign up fast and stay tuned for more sessions.

Interested but can't attend at the times below? What other topics would you like to see? Let me know at

Trinity Simons
Executive Director
Mayors' Institute on City Design

Mayors' Virtual Seminar: Monuments — Reckoning with the Past, Envisioning the Future

Wednesday, July 22  |  12:00-1:00pm Eastern

Bryan Lee, Jr.  | Founder and Design Principal, Colloqate Design
Paul Farber  |  Artistic Director and Senior Curator, Monument Lab

As protests against anti-Black racism and police brutality continue around the country, city leaders are grappling with the question of how monuments reflect, shape, and perpetuate history, as well as what to do with spaces where monuments have been recently removed. Hear from architect Bryan Lee, Jr. (Colloqate Design) and curator Paul Farber (Monument Lab), two of the nation’s leading voices on the power and process behind the design of monuments and public space. They will share stories from their projects and partnerships, reflections on recent monument takedowns around the world, and a wishlist and action items for the next generation of monuments. Attending mayors will participate in a moderated discussion about actions in each of their cities.

Mayors will take away concrete examples of public art as a vehicle for community conversations at the site of monuments, as well as a framework for a community-centered process that redefines public space as a place for justice and liberation. 

Mayors: Register Now

Mayors’ Virtual Seminar: Safe Places, Active Spaces – A design-based approach to community safety

Wednesday, July 29  |  1:00-2:00pm Eastern

Ifeoma Ebo  |   Founding Director, Creative Urban Alchemy 

In light of current movements to reimagine local government’s role in public safety, this seminar will introduce mayors to a design process that promotes community safety and empowerment in historically marginalized communities. Mayors will gain new tools for centering equity and community empowerment in city projects, as seen in a series of demonstration projects facilitated by the NYC Mayor's Office of Criminal Justice that reimagined the space around public housing through community design and problem-solving. Participants will learn how to use the the BlackSpace Manifesto to provide the guiding principles for action planning, demonstrated through a series of public space transformation projects.

Mayors will take away concrete examples of how to use a design process that promotes equity and community safety, as well as a framework for working with historically marginalized communities with respect, trust, and empowerment.

Mayors: Register Now

Coming Soon: Streets for Pandemic Response & Recovery

Date/Time TBD

Zabe Bent  |  Director of Design, NACTO

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. These rapid responses by city transportation agencies have supported and encouraged dramatic shifts in mobility borne from the necessity of traveling with physical distance, which could outlast the pandemic with the right design and policy decisions at the local level.

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.

Stay tuned for the date and time of this seminar.

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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