Thursday, May 5, 2011

Mayors Learn About the Importance of Design

The Mayors’ Institute on City Design, celebrating its 25th Anniversary, honored Mayor Richard M. Daley (right) and his legacy of design in Chicago and set the agenda for the next 25 years of city design at the National Mayors Summit on City Design in Chicago April 27-29. Click on the heading above to see videos about the event.

More than 300 mayors, funders and design leaders came together to explore development, transportation and 21st Century challenges and made recommendations to Federal officials, including National Endowment for the Arts Chairman Rocco Landesman and Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Shaun Donovan, among others.

The Mayors’ Institute on City Design (MICD) is a National Endowment for the Arts leadership initiative in partnership with the American Architectural Foundation and the United States Conference of Mayors. Since 1986, the Mayors’ Institute has sought to 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 Institute has graduated more than 850 mayors and more than 600 designers who have often commented on learning as much from the mayors as the mayors have learned from them.

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