The Mayors’ Institute on City Design  (MICD) held its 54th national session September 12-14 in Charleston, SC. MICD Founder and tenth-term Charleston Mayor Joseph P. Riley Jr. was on hand to share the program with a distinguished group of fellow mayors from Columbus, GA; Greensboro, NC; Hartford, CT; Irving, TX; Kansas City, MO; Knoxville, TN; New Bedford, MA; and Phoenix, AZ.
MICD is a National Endowment for the Arts  leadership initiative in partnership with the American Architectural Foundation (AAF) and the United States Conference of Mayors  (USCM). Over the past quarter century, more than 900 mayors have joined the MICD alumni ranks, and the program has remained true to its original model—eight mayors present eight real-world design problems to a resource team of eight renowned city design professionals (architects, urban designers, landscape architects, transportation planners, etc.). Together, they work through those problems in closed-door sessions over the course of two and a half days.
The program inspires mayors to champion better design in their cities and advances the role of design as an essential aspect of city leadership. To hear mayors rank the experience among the most influential of their public service is not uncommon, and its transformational impact is visible in communities across America.
Joining the mayors in Charleston were:
- Stephen T. Ayers, FAIA, LEED AP; Architect of the Capitol; Washington, DC
- Rodrigo Abela, PLA, ASLA, LEED AP BD + C; Principal; Gustafson, Guthrie, Nichol; Seatttle, WA
- Ellen Dunham-Jones, AIA; Professor of Architecture and Urban Design; Georgia Tech School of Architecture; Atlanta, GA
- Timothy J. Griffin, AIA; Director of Urban Design; Saint Paul Riverfront Corporation; St. Paul, MN
- Paul Okamoto, LEED AP; Partner; Okamoto Saijo Architecture; San Francisco, CA
- Catherine Sloss Crenshaw; President & CEO; Sloss Real Estate Company; Birmingham, AL
- Jennifer L. Toole, AICP, ASLA; President; Toole Design Group; Silver Spring, MD
- Barbara Brown Wilson, PhD; Director; Center for Sustainable Development; University of Texas; Austin, TX
as well as leaders from the NEA, AAF, and USCM.
AAF and the MICD partnership would like to thank United Technologies Corporation  for its continued support of the program. For more information on the Mayors’ Institute on City Design, visit www.micd.org .
Featured photo by Allisonmsewrad12 .