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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 Beautiful
The Just and Well-Ordered
Blog

Reflecting on "Data" and "Big Data" for Cities

Given the rapid pace of city growth and the concurrent demand for better infrastructure and services, pressure on city leaders and managers to make smart policy and planning decisions around investment has never been greater.

The Beautiful
The Sustainable
Blog

Back to the City! Back to the Country!

One of the most salient features of the post–World War II suburb was its localization of the American middle class and its propagation of practices of mass consumption.

The Beautiful
The Just and Well-Ordered
Blog

Why Cities Need More than Big Data

According to some proponents of Big Data Urbanism, data and powerful computational techniques will domesticate urbanization and transform our cities into responsive devices.

The Beautiful
The Just and Well-Ordered
Blog

The City of Big Data—Is It Enough?

During 2013, 6,922,484 tweets originated in Chicago. That same year, members of the city’s Divvy bike-sharing program logged 750,000 rides and 633,647 callers reported abandoned vehicles, potholes, and rodent infestation through the city’s 311 program.

The Beautiful
The Sustainable
Blog

Was there ever a truly natural city? The Byzantines thought so.

The Greeks believed humans could only achieve their full potential in the context of a city and perhaps no city built by Greeks aspired to this goal more enthusiastically than Constantinople. As a truly natural city, could this former Byzantine capital serve as a paradigm for sustainable urbanization and green growth in cities today?

The Good
The Beautiful
Blog

The Millennials Are Coming, But Who Cares?

With 80 million—the largest generation ever—leaving home and descending into society, scholars, think tanks, and especially corporations are intent on understanding the inner life of a twenty something. Despite the attention that millennials are garnering, important questions surrounding community engagement are being let out.

The Beautiful
Blog

How Cities are Engaging the Arts: An Interview With Chris Yates—Part 2

Last week, Common Place featured the first part of an interview with Chris Yates in which he shared his insights on how the arts contribute to the life and vitality of cities. Here, Chris provides examples of how cities are engaging their art communities and vice versa.

The Beautiful
The Prosperous
The Sustainable
Blog

Richmond and the Future of Local Food

More than ever we need locally based solutions to transform our communities, and nowhere is this more clear or powerful than with our food.

The Beautiful
Blog

Architecture and the Built Environment: Talking With William Sherman—Part 2

Interview with Professor William Sherman on the importance of architecture in urban life.

The Beautiful
The Just and Well-Ordered
Blog

Urban Renewal Syndrome—Part 1

Urban renewal programs, along with the social welfare policies of the Great Society, became a symbol not just of the collapse of urban America but also of the failure of progressive government action—perhaps even of liberalism itself.

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