The U.S. Conference of Mayors - Celebrating 25 Years of City Design

The U.S. Conference of Mayors: Celebrating 25 Years of City Design

Mayors and design and development experts will convene at the Chicago Hilton April 27-29 for a National Summit on City Design to identify challenges, opportunities and funding sources for cities that work well. Participants will examine the power of arts and design to transform cities while celebrating the Mayors Institute of City Design (MICD) - a collaboration of the National Endowment of the Arts (NEA), The U.S. Conference of Mayors (USCM), and the American Architectural Foundation (AAF) - and honoring the design legacy of Chicago Mayor Richard Daley.

For 25 years, MICD has been the only organization that provides mayors an opportunity to learn how smart design can help to holistically solve problems in communities to create livable cities. Smart design is, fundamentally, a language of problem solving and through MICD, mayors learn to use smart design to identify ways to creatively reduce costs through innovation in areas such as public transit, downtown development infrastructure and sustainability.

During the two-day summit, mayors and design professionals will come together to discuss the successes and lessons from MICD, as well as the topics key to the future of American cities. The highlight of the session will be on its final day, April 29, where more than 40 mayors and 80 design professionals and scholars will honor Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley as he receives the Joseph P. Riley Award for Leadership in Urban Design. As Chicago's longest serving mayor, Daley is described by USCM's CEO and Executive Director Tom Cochran as a "Mayor's Mayor."

On the first full day, April 28, the mayors and design experts will discuss design in relationship with struggling budgets and growing demands for transportation, development, and other challenges. On April 29th, Former Miami Mayor Manny Diaz, Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter, and Charleston, South Carolina Mayor Joseph Riley, along with Marilyn Taylor, Chris Leinberger, Toni Griffin, and other design professionals, will present their joint conclusions to a panel of federal officials, including NEA Chairman Rocco Landesman, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan and U.S. Department of Transportation Under Secretary Roy W. Kienitz.

Also on April 28, summit participants will release an NEA Research Report that measures the economic impact of performing arts institutions on local economies and details the degree of citizens' investment in the arts. Among the report's findings is that the U.S. performing arts industry is supported by the nearly 8,840 organizations and generates nearly $13.6 billion in annual revenues.

The opening keynote address, titled "Culture Now: The Contemporary American Condition," will be given by Thom Mayne, of Morphosis Architects and President Obama's Committee on the Arts and the Humanities. Through his work, Mayne seeks to spark transformative change on struggling U.S. cities.

Morphosis Architects