civic design lab

building great cities

Death Threats for Peace Activists in Colombia

Our friend Fr. Leonel Narvaez has long been active in negotiating and building peace between FARC and the government of Colombia in official and informal capacities.  Over a decade ago, his negotiation work shifted to the promotion of forgiveness and reconciliation between… Continue Reading →

Medical and Faith Leaders Partner to Break Cycle of Violence

In an effort to heal the invisible wounds from violence and break the cycle of violence, faith leaders and medical professionals are creating a unique partnership across Chicago.  Led by the University of Chicago Medicine and Northwestern Medicine, faith leaders… Continue Reading →

Public-Private Partnerships, Canadian-style

I spent a couple of days in Vancouver last spring listening to local officials, developers, and financiers discuss public private partnerships (P3) in Canada.  The Canadian model for P3 is largely based on models developed in the United Kingdom and… Continue Reading →

Playground Matters

Playgrounds matter in cities. If you want to make your city a place that not only attracts but keeps families in it, invest in playgrounds. They are a fundamental “unit” of park that makes neighborhoods feel livable and vibrant. Chicago… Continue Reading →

And the winners are…

A big congrats to NeighborSpace and the Chicago Park District for their wins last night at the Urban Land Institute Chicago’s Vision Awards!  The Park District won for their “Chicago Plays” program: re-building 300 playgrounds across the City. NeighborSpace won… Continue Reading →

“Making a garden is about more than cultivating plants, it’s about cultivating people”

We’re pleased to share this article from the Guardian featuring the inspiring work of our friend Daniel Tillias in Haiti. “Making a garden is about more than cultivating plants, it’s about cultivating people” – Daniel Tillias Daniel and two of… Continue Reading →

Imagination at Work in Durban

  “There’s a lot of emphasis on the interconnectedness of things,” says Zondo. “People want prosperity, but they want accessibility most – for the city to be walkable, for example, and for government to be available. If a city is… Continue Reading →

Who wants Kandi?!

Bike sharing in Chicago exceeded most people’s expectations.  With 11,000 subscribers and counting, Chicago now has one of the largest bike-sharing programs in the U.S.  And just wait until we’re out of the polar vortex.  Our guess is we’ll see… Continue Reading →

Eye on a prize

A new prize for architecture was announced Monday by the Illinois Institute of Technology.  The Mies Crown Hall Americas Prize (MCHAP) will recognize excellence in architecture — broadly defined — in North and South America.  Not just a ribbon for… Continue Reading →

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