Mayors' Institute on City Design

Alumni Technical Assistance

Matching alumni mayors with design experts for in-depth follow-up.


MICD Alumni Technical Assistance (ATA) matches selected mayors with a pair of nationally renowned design experts to advise the mayor on their selected city design challenge over a 6-8 week period.


MICD Alumni Technical Assistance (ATA) was launched in 2020 to help alumni mayors address the complex challenges facing today’s cities, beyond the traditional MICD Institute Session model.

During ATA, each mayor is matched with two design experts (the “Resource Team”) to advise the mayor and a small team of their city staff on a project of the mayor’s choosing. Over six to eight weeks, each ATA team meets weekly for a deep dive into the mayor’s project, with a strong focus on next-step recommendations and implementation strategies. Each mayor leaves with a final report of recommendations and a related slide deck that can be shared in turn with team members, partners, and stakeholders.

In 2020, the first cohort of 12 MICD alumni mayors around the country received expert assistance through ATA. In 2022, MICD offered the ATA program again to the 8 alumni of the 2022 MICD Just City Mayoral Fellowship. 

Stay tuned to our email list for opportunities to participate in future cohorts.

Time Commitment

The expected time commitment for mayors is to participate in three key virtual meetings: one 90-minute launch meeting at the start of the engagement, one 60-minute interim meeting to review the Resource Team’s initial recommendations, and one 60-minute final meeting to discuss the final recommendations.


MICD alumni mayors are eligible for MICD Alumni Technical Assistance. Some rounds are geared toward alumni of specific programs, such as the MICD Just City Mayoral Fellowship, while some engagements begin with an open call for interest. Stay tuned to our email list for future opportunities to participate.

How It Works

  • 01

    Express Interest

    Join our email list to be notified when MICD is seeking candidates for the next round of Alumni Technical Assistance.

  • 02

    Select a Project

    Continue a past MICD project or choose a new challenge from your city.

  • 03

    Meet the Team

    Meet your Resource Team, introduce your key staff, and present an overview of your project.

  • 04

    Refine Your Project

    Collaborate during weekly meetings to hear initial recommendations and provide further context.

  • 05

    Final Meeting

    The Resource Team presents a slide deck of final recommendations for you to share with other stakeholders.

  • 06

    Stay in Touch

    Receive a summary report after the final meeting and stay tuned for more MICD alumni opportunities.


What is the cost of this program?

There is no cost to participating mayors or cities. Resource Team members receive a modest honorarium for their participation from MICD.

What does the MICD Alumni Technical Assistance experience look like?

MICD Alumni Technical Assistance is a targeted follow-up program for alumni of MICD sessions or other MICD programs. Each mayor is matched with two design leaders with expertise relevant to their selected project. The group works closely together, along with key members of the mayor’s staff, over a 6-8 week series of virtual meetings. This creates an informal, candid environment for sharing ideas and recommendations to move the selected project forward.

How is Alumni Technical Assistance different from typical MICD sessions?

Typical MICD Institute Sessions are 2.5-day intensive technical assistance workshops where mayors engage leading design and development experts to find solutions to the most critical planning and design challenges facing their cities, through the exploration of specific projects.

 Alumni Technical Assistance builds on a mayor’s MICD session attendance to offer in-depth follow-up assistance over a series of meetings. With a dedicated team of two design leaders, the group dives into engagement strategies, funding ideas, and ways to bring the best possible project to fruition. The multi-week format allows for a greater level of detail of follow-up recommendations and a greater understanding of the design process.

How can I express interest?

Join our email list to receive a notification when MICD opens up expressions of interest for the next MICD Alumni Technical Assistance cohort. Please note that participation is extremely limited (up to 8 participants per year) and may be geared towards different city challenges, themes, or MICD programs each year.

 We also encourage you to fill out our general interest form or contact MICD staff directly to discuss the program in more detail.

Can I bring staff?

Each mayor is invited to include 2 key staff members for the duration of the program.

Can I request specific Resource Team members?

We aim to match you with two Resource Team alumni whose expertise is particularly well-suited for your project. You are welcome to request specific types of expertise and/or specific Resource Team members you’ve worked with in the past, though matches cannot be guaranteed.

What types of projects are well-suited for MICD Alumni Technical Assistance?

Past projects from other MICD programs are the most popular choice for Alumni Technical Assistance, though new projects may be better suited to the timing or theme of the current round of assistance. Projects still in the early planning stages are often best suited for this type of assistance. Specific project selection guidance will be included for each cohort.

How can I get involved as a design leader?

Past MICD Resource Team alumni are eligible to serve on Alumni Technical Assistance Resource Teams. While pairings are made by invitation only, we encourage you to sign up for our email list to learn about the next round and express interest.

For design leaders who have not previously served as MICD Resource Team members, click here to learn more about getting involved in MICD.

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