Inspiring Better Cities

Next City is a nonprofit organization with a mission to inspire social, economic and environmental change in cities by creating media and events around the world.

Our vision is for a world in which cities are not in crisis and are instead, leading the way towards a more sustainable, equitable future.

Next City provides daily online coverage of the leaders, policies and innovations driving progress in metropolitan regions across the world. In an age when original, on-the-ground reporting is increasingly rare, we send our writers into urban communities around the world to produce our award-winning longform content. In addition to our online journalism, we produce events including an annual urban leadership conference, Vanguard.

Originally named The Next American City, the organization began publishing a quarterly magazine in 2003. What started as a black-and-white printed publication staffed by volunteers ultimately grew into a popular and influential magazine that reached 1 million people over the course of its 31 issues.

Next City deeply appreciates its current funders: Ford Foundation, The Rockefeller Foundation, Surdna Foundation, The Knight Foundation, The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, The Kresge Foundation, as well as our many other generous donors across the country. Support Next City’s work by making a 100% tax-deductible donation today.

Our Staff

  • Ariella Cohen

    Executive Editor and Interim Director

    Ariella Cohen is an award-winning journalist with 11 years of experience reporting on urban change, politics and policy. Prior to joining Next City, she co-founded New Orleans’ first online investigative news outlet, The Lens, and worked as a staff reporter for the Brooklyn Paper in New York. She has reported on community resiliency in Haiti, toxic FEMA trailers on the Gulf coast and affordable housing in Brooklyn. She prefers the bus. Follow her @ariellacohen on Twitter.

  • Janine White

    Senior Editor

    From infrastructure to economic development to culture, Janine oversees Next City’s Daily content. Her experience includes gigs at an alternative medicine book publisher, an A&E weekly, and a daily newspaper. Most recently, she served as exec editor and online news editor at Philadelphia magazine, where she covered everything from elections to the city budget to real estate.

  • Jeff Muckensturm

    Audience Engagement Manager

    Before joining Next City, Jeff was the Communications Director for Healthcare-NOW!, a carpenter, and a community member of Leavenhouse (a Catholic Worker community that provides food and housing for the homeless) in Camden, NJ. He has a B.A. in Urban Studies and Regional Planning from Rutgers University-Camden and a M.A. in Regional, Economic, and Social Development from the University of Massachusetts-Lowell.

  • Alexis Stephens

    Urban Economics Fellow

    Alexis is Next City’s urban economics fellow. She’s written about housing, pop culture, global music subcultures, and more for publications like Rolling Stone, SPIN, Shelterforce and MTV Iggy. She has a B.A. in Urban Studies from Barnard College and a M.S. in Historic Preservation from the University of Pennsylvania.

  • Anthony Smyrski

    Creative Director

    Tony has designed books and other projects for clients such as Thames and Hudson, Powerhouse, Steve Powers, the Pew Foundation, Deloitte and Federal Express. In 2005, he and Dan Murphy founded the experimental media project Megawords and were awarded the Pew Fellowship in the Arts in 2012.

  • Derek Hogue

    Web Developer

    Derek has been building (and rebuilding) the Next City website since 2007 out of his humble abode in Winnipeg, Manitoba. In addition to building websites for a variety of folks from across the globe, he can also be found embarrassing himself on the Escape Velocity Radio podcast.

  • Jessica Gregan

    Events + Partnership Assistant

    Jessica joined Next City in July 2014. She is currently pursuing her B.S. in Liberal Studies with concentrations in Public Management and Peace & Conflict Studies at West Chester University. Jess has worked with a variety of nonprofits in the areas of conservation, youth empowerment, political engagement, and LGBT rights.

  • Sara Schuenemann

    Events + Development Manager

    Sara is a marketing and events mastermind with more than ten years of experience supporting small businesses, artists and nonprofits. She has worked with artists to donate tooth-related artwork for a dental surgery fundraiser, planned a flash mob for the Philadelphia Fringe Festival and raised money for children orphaned by the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami.

How We Change Cities

We’ve developed a model for transforming cities and inspiring people who live in them.

  • 1

    Identify innovations in cities.

  • 2

    Tell the stories of people creating change and how it’s happening.

  • 3

    Connect those stories with communities online and on the ground.

  • 4

    Elevate leaders and share the best ideas at events around the world.

  • 5

    Foster the next generation of urban leaders, changemakers and dreamers.

  • 6

Who We Reach

Next City connects the people who make up the social, economic and cultural fabric of our cities.

  • Community leaders and advocates
  • Nonprofits
  • Academics and students
  • Local and federal government
  • Business and civic leaders

Board of Directors

  • Eugenie Birch, Penn Institute for Urban Research
  • Bruce Katz, The Brookings Institution
  • Barin Nahvi, Hearst Innovation
  • Tamar Shapiro, Center for Community Progress
  • Eric Shaw, City of Washington D.C.
  • Jess Zimbabwe, Urban Land Institute