Who is Shaping the Future of Cities?
When we talk about cities, it’s easy to focus on the macro – systems and networks, infrastructure and industry. But if you zoom in closer you’ll find a very different story – one of passionate people working every day to shape a better tomorrow.
This is why we’re excited to share People Changing Cities, a new series to spread stories of remarkable individuals leading urban change.
Each week we’re spotlighting someone we think is worth knowing, and we invite you to follow along at UIXCities.com. Join us to meet people like:
- Sommer Woods, bringing her passion for community engagement to building better public transit in Detroit;
- Rose Broome, creating an app to help San Franciscans donate nearly a million dollars (and counting) to the homeless;
- Randy McShepard, shifting the conversation and building bridges in Cleveland through research, advocacy and community development;
- Bobby Zappala, promoting a culture of innovation and collaboration in Pittsburgh with Thrill Mill and Thrival Festival;
- Yael Lehmann, improving food access and healthy living in Philadelphia, and sharing best practices across the country.
What do these people have in common? They’re all deeply committed to creating more sustainable and equitable cities.
As Mayor Betsy Hodges of Minneapolis reminded us at this year’s Equity Summit: “Our cities were not designed and built for equity. It is incumbent on us to take what we have and make it better.”
If you subscribe to one of our partner publications, you may have already seen an email in your inbox. We hope you’ll keep reading and sharing these stories as a reminder that the “who” shaping cities is us.
“People Changing Cities” is presented by Urban Innovation Exchange, in partnership with Meeting of the Minds, The Kresge Foundation and Issue Media Group. Signup for emails at UIXCities.com and follow us on Twitter @UIXCities.
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Spotlighting innovations in urban sustainability and connected technology
At Connect the Dots, it is our mission to build better cities, towns, and neighborhoods through inclusive, insight-driven stakeholder engagement. We help community, private, and public sector partners to develop creative solutions that move projects and cities forward. Engagement is at the heart of this pursuit, which is why we are sharing our practices with you.
When you decide to take your engagement activities online, we encourage using tools that are functional on a wide range of devices including basic smartphones, tablets, laptops, and desktop computers. We have also developed remote but non-virtual options to bridge the digital divide.
As cities continue to fight against COVID-19, citizens are changing their commuting preferences to adjust to a new way of life. Cities across the globe have experienced significant increases in the number of pedestrians, cyclists, and private cars on the roads as a result of public transport restrictions and social distancing requirements. This has created many new challenges, as cities previously dependent on public transport must now adapt to accommodate more vulnerable road users, such as pedestrians and cyclists.
It is critical to pause, reflect, and recognize that cities who are not equitable will always be in recovery mode. Inequity is a noted stress in the language of resilience shocks and stresses. It increases the probability and severity of shocks – like social uprisings and the civil unrest we have seen unfold. This holds true for a vast range of other natural and man-made shocks.