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The Beautiful

The Realm of Aesthetics, Design, and the Arts

The Endowment of “The Beautiful” encompasses the built environment and urban design crucial to the infrastructure of the city and, by extension, the flourishing of its citizens. Equally important, the role of the arts and creative expression, at the level of community, play a key role in the health and vitality of the urban commons, particularly in their potential to foster imaginative responses to urban challenges and dialogue across societal boundaries.

Central to this endowment is the idea of “place-making”— a concept that brings together (a) changes to the physical structure of the city responsive to human ecology and (b) the creative activity by which individuals and communities make a place more vibrantly their own. Place-making weaves a richer picture of crucial interconnections between the lived experience of the city and the formation of civic virtue central to thriving cities and communities

To learn more about the Endowment of the Beautiful, download our research brief below.

The Good
The Beautiful
Blog

The Emergence of Place Attachment

Enabling local affections involves hard work from individuals, locally embedded institutions, a built environment scaled to people, and community-focused habits and practices.

The Beautiful
The Prosperous
The Just and Well-Ordered
The Sustainable
Blog

Walkability and the Thriving City

Aside from improvements to cardiovascular health, walking, particularly within one’s community, provides a myriad of benefits.

The Beautiful
The Just and Well-Ordered
Blog

The Arbiters of Urban Taste

This past April, the Landmarks Law turned 50. Its legacy has been important for shaping the urban environment.

The True
The Good
The Beautiful
The Prosperous
The Just and Well-Ordered
The Sustainable
Blog

A View from the Twin Cities

Is MSP really Greater? A brief look at the Human Ecology of Minnesota’s Twin Cities reveals tremendous upside along with numerous challenges.

The Beautiful
The Just and Well-Ordered
The Sustainable
Blog

Confronting Climate Change, Rethinking the City

Overcoming our carbon dependence should be seen as an opportunity to rethink for the better an institution largely shaped by fossil fuel: our cities.

The Beautiful
The Just and Well-Ordered
Blog

Solving for Pattern: What Urbanists Can Learn from Wendell Berry

Our typical images of the city often fail us. What we need is a new one that best captures the complexity and beauty of urban life.

The Beautiful
The Prosperous
Blog

Memphis and the Crosstown Concourse — An Interview with Todd Richardson

On February 21, 2015, Crosstown Concourse officially broke ground in Memphis, TN. Originally built in 1927 and known as the Sears Crosstown Building, it operated as a Sears store for over 60 years until becoming vacant in the 1990s. Thanks to the recent efforts of many people such as Todd Richardson, new energy and investment has been poured into its revitalization.

Videos

About Thriving Cities

Learn about Thriving Cities through an animated overview of the project.

The Beautiful
The Prosperous
The Just and Well-Ordered
Blog

Who Is the Smart City for?

In India’s rush to transform, build, and even engineer entire new cities, critics are right to raise concerns about citizenship and access

The True
The Beautiful
The Prosperous
Blog

The Power of Play in the Public Square

The renovated Place de la République shows the power of the public square.

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