Next City

Next City 2016

The Year in Review

This year has been one of the busiest ever for Next City. We published an unprecedented number of features and news articles, inspiring countless people to take action in their cities. We hosted the World Stage at the United Nations’ once-in-a-generation conference on urbanization, providing a place for hundreds of urban leaders from all over the world to make their voices heard. We provided expert input at dozens of conferences and our Vanguard conference in Houston will have a lasting legacy. Thank you for being part of our world.


One of the year’s obsessions was low-cost, high-impact urban design. We kicked off the year with one of the masters of the emerging field — Kounkuey Design Initiative.


Brooklyn writer Bill Bradley went home to Traverse City, Michigan, to find out what happens when the affordable, backwoods dream town turns into an urban destination. It turns out that tens of thousands of readers also wanted to know the answer to Bradley’s question.


Our reporters and editors began work on an exciting new project: a series of articles exploring community-engaged design. Supported by the Surdna Foundation, the series focuses on a new paradigm of practice that seeks to go beyond fixing the conditions of particular neighborhoods to address the policies, structures and systems that fostered the conditions in the first place. Explicit in this practice is a recognition of racial injustice.


San Marcos may be the fastest-growing city no one has ever heard of. Topping national growth rankings, this college town located in Texas’ flash flood alley is rapidly expanding thanks to a hot market for federally subsidized student housing. Our investigation into the unsustainable pattern went viral — starting an essential conversation about growth in the age of climate change.


An all-star Vanguard class collaborated with incredible Houston community organizers and the Kinder Institute for Urban Research at Rice University at our unforgettable conference.


Next City Executive Editor Janine White and contributing writer Anna Clark traveled to the National Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Symposium to present on telling the stories of the universal design movement and how cities are working to become accessible to all.


Diplomats and representatives of 100-plus countries gathered in Surabaya, Indonesia, in July to work on the New Urban Agenda, a UN-brokered agreement to guide urban development in nations across the world over the next 20 years. Next City Publisher Tom Dallessio was part of the expert panels while our editors talked to urban leaders about what success would look like.


Journalist Johnny Magdaleno was selected as our third equitable cities fellow. Supported by the Surdna Foundation, the equitable cities fellowship for journalists of color is a response to the disproportionate whiteness of U.S. media. One of Johnny’s first articles explores how credit unions are stepping into banking deserts and building alliances with immigrant communities.


Next City jumped into a jam-packed fall during which Dallessio and other members of the team spoke at conferences in five cities across two continents. A column written by Dallessio from Chicago was shared by Mayor Rahm Emanuel.


The Next City team went to Quito for Habitat III to host the World Stage at the historic UN event. Our short documentary, co-produced by the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, and other reporting tell the story of this inspiring gathering and the New Urban Agenda that came out of it. We couldn’t have it done without the generous support of the MacArthur, Ford and Kresge foundations.


With little support from urban voters, Donald Trump was elected U.S. president. Journalist Garrett Graff reported on the urban policy legacy Trump will inherit and the choices the president-elect and his cabinet appointees will have to make on behalf of cities.


As 2016 came to a close, we kicked off our Philly in Flux project, funded by the William Penn Foundation. Throughout 2017, our team will be exploring the changing neighborhoods of our home city through reporting, data collection and live events. This end-of-year story examines how demographic shifts are transforming a Philadelphia New Year’s tradition.

Next City is supported by Ford Foundation​,​ the Fund for New Jersey, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Kresge Foundation, Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, Surdna Foundation, William Penn Foundation and by readers like you. Make a year-end donation to Next City and sustain our work to inspire change in cities. This year, we connected more than 2 million people to the ideas they need to improve their cities. Help us reach even more people in 2017 and beyond.