Representation Matters

Every day, Next City tells the stories of designers, planners, entrepreneurs and other urban professionals who bring a diverse group of voices into the conversation about cities through equitable business models, new collaborations and inclusive engagement. We’ve assembled nine stories in this ebook that illuminate this work, in sectors ranging from tech to transportation to parks to healthy food access and more. 

Exclusive to this ebook is an op-ed from Next City Vanguard Bryan Lee, Jr., founder and design director of Colloqate Design and the founding organizer of the Design Justice Platform. Bryan’s piece, “Design Justice for an Unjust World,” underscores how architecture is frequently wielded to perpetuate existing injustice, which results in “the collective disinheritance of historically marginalized communities.”

“At the root of housing, transportation and economic injustice are the remnants of redlining and racial covenants that continue to extract wealth and codify structural or de facto segregation,” Lee writes. “The best of who we are as designers should be to challenge the privilege and power structures that use architecture as a tool of oppression and actively forward the efforts of racial, social and cultural justice through the process and outcomes of design.”

Other stories assembled in this collection include, “What if Hip-Hop Could Make Architecture and Planning Better?,” “Leveling the Playing Field in City Contracting,” “Closing the Bay Area ‘Friends and Family’ Capital Gap,” and more.

As Next City Board Chair Eric Shaw says in the letter that opens this ebook, “When this kind of change happens, industry by industry, it lifts up the entire community.”

Thank you to all the Next City donors who made this ebook possible.

Cover image by Eleanor Barba.

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