Next City Welcomes Its First Social Impact Design Reporting Fellow

Next City is thrilled to welcome Los Angeles-based journalist Maylin Tu as its new Equitable Cities Reporting Fellow for Social Impact Design.

Over the next 15 months, Tu will report stories that explore the ways urban planners, architects, designers, artists and other professionals use social impact design to improve cities to be more equitable and just places.

A freelance reporter, Tu writes about transportation and public infrastructure (especially bus shelters and bathrooms), with bylines in the Guardian, KCET, Next City, LAist, LA Public Press and JoySauce. She graduated with a BA in English from William Jewell College in Missouri and previously worked in post-production as a DVD author and digital media technician.

“I’m excited to explore social impact design and how it can make cities safer and more equitable — the public right-of-way is a contested space, but there’s also so much possibility for connection and joy,” says Tu. “I can’t wait to collaborate with the Next City team on solutions-based stories, because together we get to imagine a future where everyone is included.”

Tu has previously reported on transportation and mobility for Next City, including stories on L.A.’s $1 microtransit-on-demand program and fare-free public transit that were featured in our 2022 Solutions of the Year magazine. 

Funded by the National Endowment for the Arts, this fellowship will identify and amplify lessons from the social impact design field while developing a journalist with expertise that is largely missing from the media profession.

To give rise to truly equitable and just cities, city-builders must work together while also exchanging knowledge about what’s effective. 

“Sharing information is key to our work at Next City. Throughout this fellowship, Maylin Tu will help us continue our mission of spreading solutions that move our society toward justice and equity,” says Deonna Anderson, editorial director at Next City. “We’re excited to continue working with Maylin, who brings a deep understanding of equity, transportation and public infrastructure.” 

As Maylin interviews practitioners about their varying approaches to bringing projects to life, their key lessons learned, and how to scale up their social impact work, we anticipate that her reporting will benefit the field for years to come.

Next City is a nonprofit news organization amplifying marginalized voices while covering workable, evidence-based solutions for more equitable cities. The publication covers a broad range of topics pertaining to urban affairs worldwide, including sustainable environments, technology, transportation and housing. The magazine also produces ebooks, podcasts and webinars to further its mission of making representative journalism more accessible.

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