Celebrate Next City’s First Decade and Watch a Video of How It All Began

Next City is hosting a 10th anniversary celebration this November. In recognition of this exciting moment, we take a look back to the launch of The Next American City magazine in February 2003.

Design by Lauren Adolfsen

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Next City turns 10 this year, and we’re hosting a 10th Anniversary event to toast to our achievements, our supporters and friends, as well as announce goals for the coming decade.

Ever since it launched, Next City has always brought together leading thinkers and doers. The 10th Anniversary will be no exception, with an evening program of urban storytelling from Sustainable South Bronx founder Majora Carter, incoming Ford Foundation president Darren Walker, and architects Tod Williams and Billie Tsien, among other greats.

In recognition of how far the organization has come, we thought we’d also take a look back to the moment when it all began: February 10, 2003 at New York University, during a blizzard. The awful weather didn’t stop hundreds of people from coming to Manhattan to listen to a panel discussion on “The Next New York” and to celebrate the beginning of this young organization. Evident in the video is the organization’s trademark ambition, eagerness to take on big topics, and ability to stir debate and discussion over the direction of American cities.

The video features The Next American City’s founding editor in chief, Adam Gordon, founding publisher Seth Brown and a panel of urban luminaries including Vicki Been, Alex Garvin, Paul Goldberger, Hugh Hardy and Joseph Rose.

One month later, the New York Times caught on and profiled the magazine’s founders. The opening paragraphs, meant to be tongue-and-cheek about the magazine’s goals, suggests that even that author doubted the forthcoming importance of urban policy discussion:

This may be the most subtle plan to change the world the Ivy League has yet produced. At its center are three recent Yale graduates: Adam Gordon, Seth A. Brown and Anika Singh.

They have a vision for The Next American City, which happens to be the title of the quarterly magazine they just began. Let others of their generation produce the next killer computer code or breakthrough indie film, this group believes that the road to global transformation runs through the realm of — get ready — housing, transportation and land use policy.

Travel back in time with us and see for yourself.

Next City’s 10th Anniversary event and forthcoming associated content is supported by the Rockefeller Foundation.

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Diana Lind is the former executive director and editor in chief of Next City.

Tags: new york citynext city 10-year anniversary

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