Thought Leader Testimonials

Director of National Strategy and Technology Innovation, Knight Foundation

“The Assembly: Civic Design Guidelines come at a crucial time for our democracy, as Americans are expressing less trust in institutions of all kinds. The publication essentially offers civic leaders a ‘how to’ for implementing strategies and projects that use public space to inspire positive community transformation and put people at the center of community-building.”

Principal, Social Services, Bloomberg Associates

“We’ve known for a while that having a park near your home is associated with better physical health outcomes. Now, Assembly’s research reveals that parks and public spaces play an essential role in our civic wellbeing—laying the necessary foundation for cultivating civic trust and community pride. We need to ensure such assets are available to all community members, so that all residents feel invested in, and cared for by, their city.”

Director of Planning, City of Charlotte

“Everyone deserves access to great public space. In Charlotte, we’re experimenting with a range of new community building initiatives which includes various placemaking activities, with the goal of creating a city where everyone feels invited to be an active participant in the public life of their neighborhood. The Assembly Guidelines are a fantastic tool for celebrating our city’s successes and sustaining momentum for future initiatives.”

Vice President, Affordable and Green Financing, Fannie Mae

“Where you live matters. We know that good design and maintenance of homes and neighborhoods is absolutely essential for physical and mental health. The Assembly Guidelines reveal just how important design can be for residents’ social and civic wellbeing. By applying these strategies to affordable housing developments, we can help low-income residents fully participate in the civic life of their communities.”

SVP, Global Resilience Practice, 100 Resilient Cities
Assembly Advisory Committee

“Communities around the world are recognizing that social and civic infrastructure is essential to resiliency. While the Assembly Guidelines focus on US cities, there is potential for a much broader impact. As cities across the 100 Resilient Cities network develop resilience visions and goals, they are also demanding tools to investigate how public space design can amplify civic trust and stewardship in conjunction with environmental resilience priorities.”

Head of Sustainability, Lendlease

“For Lendlease, sustainability is about creating places for people that respond to their needs and resonate with their aspirations today, and in the future. Our developments and communities alike aim to deliver efficient, healthy, resilient, culturally and socially inclusive outcomes which deliver long term value. The new Assembly Guidelines are one of the tools Lendlease is using to promote quality of life in residential developments by including prospective residents’ views on the design and activation of public places to create authentic community context.”

Goldman School of Public Policy, University of California at Berkeley
Assembly Research Team

"It has been a privilege to collaborate with the diverse and talented Assembly Advisory Committee. We’ve borrowed methodological rigor from public health and social science fields to employ mixed-method approaches like surveys, photo experiments, case studies, and field experiments. Many of these methods are easily-adaptable—by researchers interested in advancing an understanding of design and civic life, and by communities who want to tailor the Assembly Guidelines to their unique local context.

  • User Side Images Image 732
    The Oval. Philadelphia, PA. Since 2013, Fairmount Park Conservancy has led the charge for converting a highly visible stretch of Benjamin Franklin Parkway into a summer pop-up of programming and events. Courtesy of Fairmount Park Conservancy
  • User Side Images Image 733
    Metro McAllen Swing-and-Ride Bus Stop. The City of McAllen redesigned a typical McAllen bus stop near a popular public library, offering space for adults and children to play, paint, and exercise. Courtesy of KaBOOM!
  • User Side Images Image 734
    Open Streets 704. Charlotte, NC. Courtesy City of Charlotte.
  • User Side Images Image 736
    Dequindre Cut Detroit, MI. The Dequindre Cut draws a line through downtown Detroit along a former railroad track, providing pedestrians and cyclists with direct access to Detroit’s waterfront. Courtesy of the Detroit RiverFront Conservancy.