About Us – Next City

Inspiring Better Cities

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

Our vision is for a world in which cities are not in crisis and are instead, leading the way toward 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. Next City is an independent, nonpartisan nonprofit that adheres to the Society of Professional Journalists Code of Ethics. We are dedicated to producing journalism that is accurate, transparent, fair and impactful. 

Next City is supported by a diversified business model that includes major donations from foundation and individuals, membership, corporate sponsorships,underwriting, advertising and events. All underwritten and sponsored content is clearly and obviously distinguished from editorial content. We do not accept sponsorships, underwriting or ads from organizations that we believe could undermine our mission, integrity or brand. We accept gifts, grants and sponsorships from individuals and organizations for the general support of our activities and to support coverage of particular topics, but our organization maintains editorial control of the coverage. Past and present supporters, including sustaining members, major donors and corporate sponsors, can be found here.

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. Today, Next City is a trusted voice on urban policy, reaching more than 2.5 million readers through its website and influencing conversations across the media landscape. If you are interested in inviting Next City to join your next event, please reach out through our Meet the Experts page.

Next City deeply appreciates its current funders: Ford Foundation,  Surdna Foundation,and the William Penn 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

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    President, CEO & Publisher

    Tom is the President, CEO and Publisher of Next City. Before joining the organization in 2015, he directed the Center for Resilient Design at the College of Architecture and Design at the New Jersey Institute of Technology. Prior to that, he ran the Regional Plan Association’s New Jersey office, and served as a senior adviser on land use for two New Jersey governors. Tom is a licensed professional planner, and a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners, as well as an adjunct professor at the New Jersey Institute of Technology, where he teaches land use planning and infrastructure planning. Follow him on Twitter @TDallessio.

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    Ariella Cohen is an award-winning journalist with more than a decade 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 disaster recovery, urban development and city politics in Port au Prince, Jerusalem and in cities across the U.S. She prefers the bus. Follow her on Twitter @ariellacohen.

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    Executive 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.

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    Senior 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.

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    Director of Events + Development

    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.

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    Management Consultant

    Kay has over a decade of non-profit fundraising and management experience. She has been a development consultant for Schultz & Williams in Philadelphia and an independent development consultant for non-profit organizations in the Philadelphia region. Her past clients include Fairmount Park Conservancy, Peirce College, Philabundance, Easter Seals of Southeastern Pennsylvania, Philadelphia Museum of Art, and Philadelphia Futures.

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    Associate Editor

    Before coming to Next City in 2015, Kelsey was an editorial assistant at Kinfolk Magazine in Portland, Oregon. During college Kelsey reported for the Mail Tribune in Southern Oregon, covering crime, politics and the occasional ukulele camp. She has lived in nine zip codes, but is happy to call 19102 home. Follow her on Twitter @kelseyethomas.

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    Equitable Cities Fellow

    Deonna is a Brooklyn-based reporter with experience covering city government and social issues. She's a graduate of the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism with a concentration in urban reporting, and formerly served in several public sector roles in Los Angeles. She interned at The Marshall Project, covering the criminal justice system, and at NYMag.com.

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    Equitable Cities Fellow

    Serena has a B.A. in journalism from California State University, Northridge, and is based in Detroit. Her reporting on the intersection of culture, politics and entrepreneurship can also be found in Reuters, NPR’s The Salt and Latino USA, the Chicago Tribune and others.

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    Contributing Writer

    Oscar is a Next City 2015-2016 equitable cities fellow. A New York City-based journalist with a background in global development and social enterprise, he has written about impact investing, microfinance, fair trade, entrepreneurship and more for publications such as Fast Company and NextBillion.net. He has a B.A. in Economics from Villanova University.

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    Web Developer

    Derek has been building (and rebuilding) the Next City website since 2007 out of his humble abode in Winnipeg, Manitoba, where he designs and builds websites and custom code for publishers, artists, and non-profits at home and abroad. Follow him on Twitter @mrherbivore.

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    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.

How We Change Cities

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    Identify innovations in cities.

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

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    Connect those stories with communities online and on the ground.

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

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

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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

  • Jess Zimbabwe, President, Urban Land Institute
  • Eric Shaw, Vice President, District of Columbia Office of Planning
  • Tamar Shapiro, Secretary, Center for Community Progress
  • Eugenie Birch, Treasurer, Penn Institute for Urban Research
  • Allison Arieff, SPUR
  • Efrem Bycer, Code for America
  • Hon. Oscar Delgado, City Council Member, Reno
  • Kate Didech, Fellow, The Stanford Center for Legal Informatics
  • Adam Giuliano, Kaplan Kirsch Rockwell
  • Bruce Katz, The Brookings Institution
  • Barin Nahvi Rovzar, Hearst Innovation
  • Casius Pealer, Tulane University