Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Mayor's Institute on City Design Held In Philadelphia

Maurice Cox (left), Director of Design for the National Endowment for the Arts, and Ron Bogle (right), President and CEO of the American Architectural Foundation, were among the mayors and other participants at the Mayor's Institute on City Design held in Phildadelphia in February, 2009.

The Mayors' Institute on City Design (MICD) is a partnership program of the National Endowment for the Arts, the American Architectural Foundation, and the United States 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.

The MICD achieves its mission by organizing sessions where mayors engage leading design experts to find solutions to the most critical urban design challenges facing their cities. Sessions are organized around case-study problems. Each mayor presents a problem from his or her city for the other mayors and designers to discuss.

Every year, the partner organizations plan and manage six to eight Institute sessions held throughout the country. Each two and one-half day session is limited to less than twenty participants, half mayors and half a resource team consisting of outstanding city design and development professionals. Mayors present a range of challenges, including waterfront redevelopment, downtown revitalization, transportation planning, and the design of new public buildings such as libraries and arts centers. Following each presentation, mayors and designers identify important issues, offer suggestions, and discuss potential solutions. The interchange sparks lively debate, opens new perspectives, and generates creative ideas. Members of the resource team also make presentations on the role of their profession in the process of city design, illustrated by outstanding examples and best practices.

Despite the intimate nature of its proceedings, the Institute has graduated more than 700 mayors. Many of these are still in office, and a half-dozen are either in Congress or in a governor's mansion. The program has also graduated over 500 designers who have often commented on learning as much from the mayors as the mayors have learned from them. Design is a two-way street, and the Mayors' Institute was founded both to educate mayors about design and to educate the design community about the latest practical needs of our cities.

Click on the heading above to go to the Mayor's Institute on City Design website.

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