Mayors' Institute on City Design

University of Hawaii, Iowa State, and Tulane to host 2020 regional MICD sessions

March 2020 – WASHINGTON, DC – The Mayors’ Institute on City Design (MICD) is excited to announce the University of Hawaii, Iowa State University, and Tulane University as the next three hosts of MICD’s regional sessions. All three institutions have an outstanding history of engaging the public and using design to strengthen communities. MICD looks forward to working with these universities to bring expert design assistance to mayors across the country.

The three hosts were selected through a competitive RFQ process, during which they stood out from a group of exceptional applicants. Each institution will host one 2.5-day session using the MICD model. At these sessions, eight mayors and a team of eight interdisciplinary design professionals will convene to share ideas and find solutions to the most pressing design and development challenges faced by each mayor. The interchange among the mayors and design professionals sparks a lively debate, opens new perspectives, and generates creative ideas.

University of Hawai’i  |  Honolulu, HI
Community Design Center  in partnership with the Institute for Sustainability and Resilience

The University of Hawaiʻi Community Design Center (UHCDC) is an outreach initiative led by the School of Architecture that builds on four decades of public service to Hawai’i and the Asia-Pacific region. Typical projects help state agencies, the University of Hawaii System, and local non-profit and community organizations explore proof-of-concept design alternatives for problems of diverse type, scope, and scale. The Institute for Sustainability and Resilience provides a campus-wide focus for sustainability and resilience curriculum, research, and outreach programs.

“As a past participant of the Mayors’ Institute, I have experienced the positive impact of this program and [look forward to] this opportunity to highlight our city and island as a host, and as a laboratory for island sustainability and resilience. I have no doubt that the University of Hawaii Community Design Center and the Institute for Sustainability and Resilience will host a memorable and productive discussion,” says Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell.

Iowa State University  |  Des Moines, IA
College of Design in partnership with the City of Des Moines

The Iowa State University College of Design is consistently recognized nationally and internationally as one of the most comprehensive design institutions in the United States. The college includes seven departments, including Architecture, Community & Regional Planning, and Landscape Architecture. The session will be hosted in partnership with the City of Des Moines, known as a hidden gem in the heart of the midwest with remarkable historic and contemporary architecture, accessible and vibrant public art, a lively riverfront walk, and a welcoming spirit.

“[The college’s] work in the Greater Des Moines area has been an asset to our community in solving complex issues that mayors face every day. Our city today is the product of decades of strategic planning and investment that has landed Des Moines on the map. I believe that our city will serve as an inspiring venue for the Institute,” says Des Moines Mayor Frank Cownie.

Tulane University  |  New Orleans, LA
School of Architecture in partnership with the Center for Planning Excellence

The Albert and Tina Small Center for Collaborative Design is a key outreach and design advocacy initiative within the Tulane School of Architecture. The center’s core mission is to learn about the challenges of municipal design, to create a regional knowledge base concerning public development and design, and to educate local leaders regarding the importance of quality planning and design. The Center for Planning Excellence (CPEX) is a nonprofit organization that provides best-practice planning models and technical assistance to communities throughout Louisiana.

“Tulane’s Small Center for Collaborative Design is a wonderful part of the New Orleans landscape, providing crucial early stage design services to impact non-profits and neighborhood organizations throughout our city. I believe that New Orleans is the most unique destination in America, offering a world-class experience to millions of visitors each year. What better place to discuss common design challenges than the active workshop of the French Quarter, Central Business District, and all of our wonderful neighborhoods,” says New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell.

About the Mayors’ Institute on City Design

MICD is a leadership initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with the U.S. Conference of Mayors. MICD is intended to foster an understanding of and appreciation for the role of design in creating vibrant, livable cities, and the importance of mayors as advocates for good design. Since 1986, over 1,200 mayors from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico have participated in MICD. For a list of upcoming events, past participants, or for more information, visit and follow @MICDdotORG on Twitter.

The Mayors’ Institute on City Design, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the U.S. Conference of Mayors extend their gratitude to all the 2020 applicants and look forward to working with the selected hosts.

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