who we are


Launched by a group of activists and academics in 2005, the Center for the Living City holds the singular distinction of being the only urbanist organization founded in collaboration with Jane Jacobs.

Widely considered the foremost urbanist of all time, Jane Jacobs wrote:

“Cities have the capability of providing something for everybody, only because, and only when, they are created by everybody.”  [The Death and Life of Great American Cities]

In the years since its founding, the Center has become a leading global urbanist think tank and social-environmental-economic impact organization, working to bring all perspectives – particularly the voices of the marginalized – to participate in creating empathic, responsive, community-based urban solutions.

Support for the Center’s programs has been provided by the Ford Foundation, Rockefeller Foundation, Rockefeller Brothers Fund, and Knight Foundation, among others.


Cities that are vibrant, adaptive, equitable communities created by and for everyone.


Inspire civic engagement and leadership; invite creative urban solutions; expand understanding of the ecology of cities.


Advance social, environmental, and economic  justice as global urbanization accelerates.

core values


We commit to transparency, responsibility, good stewardship.


We value all the people of this world.


We believe that empathy is a primary informant of design excellence.


The broad exploration of possibilities is at the heart of our work.


We believe that the impediment itself can guide the way forward.