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Conscious Cities Festival 2019

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New York

New York, NY 00000

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Mission Statement

The mission of the 2019 Conscious Cities Festival is to provide a five-day learning environment to explore how science-informed design can create a healthier, more inclusive city. Using a multidisciplinary approach grounded in principles of racial equity and social justice, the festival aims to facilitate dialogue among individuals, organizations, and institutions working towards common goals in efforts to spur collaborative and creative solutions for achieving just communities.

The 2019 Festival

Building on the conscious cities movement’s previous events, each day of the festival will tackle pressing issues facing today and the future’s urban population, grouped into four themes: Resilience, Families, Aging, and Mental Health. Designers, community planners and organizers, advocates and activists, decision- and policy-makers, and behavioral scientists will present forward-thinking approaches to share knowledge in the week’s workshops and public lectures. We will be joined by representatives of New York’s City Hall and other city agencies interested in the latest innovation in planning and engagement with local communities.

Hosted by our venue partner Pratt Institute, the festival will highlight how behavioural science and design can inform one another to better suit the needs of communities and individuals. Participants will co-develop human-centered measures of impact and promote political and economic arguments to sustain investment.

Conscious Cities and The CCD

The Conscious Cities movement began in 2015 after the publication of its manifesto in The Guardian. Since then, numerous events and publications have contributed to promoting positive social impact through design that is grounded in research and evidence. Talks from previous events are available to watch in our video library, as well as resources in open-access journals and annual anthologies. Watch a 3 minuteintroduction video here, Wikipedia article here.

The CCD is a think tank focused on using design to address urban issues facing society today and in the future. We see the continued urbanisation of the world population presenting both challenges and opportunities to building an environment that improves health and wellbeing. The centre acts as a home to the Conscious Cities movement and as a hub for human-centered and science-informed architecture and urbanism.

Call for Papers: Anthology 2019

In anticipation of the 2019 Conscious Cities Festival this October, we are delighted to announce an open call for submissions to its official publication — showcasing the diverse and impactful thinking by Conscious Cities practitioners.




Day 1 - Resilience
15th October, 2019

Building Resilient Communities

How our cities fare under environmental, social, or political stress is a measure of their resilience and ability to protect and support individuals and communities. Whilst resilience in urbanism usually refers to how built infrastructure can cope with natural disasters and climate change, Day 1 of the Conscious Cities Festival will focus on the resilience of the city’s social fabric.

How can we design cities to promote social cohesion that not only ensures communities thrive through challenges, but also that individuals aren’t left behind? The day’s events will propose paths forward through case studies and the development of science-informed architecture, urban design, and decision making.

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Day 2 - Families
16th October, 2019

Family Friendly Cities

The push for child-friendly cities is a positive indicator towards inclusivity, but it is also a symptom of the decades of urban planning that has marginalized families to specific points in the city. In most urban areas raising a family can be a challenge to parents and children alike, what can we change to make the city supportive of growing families?

The day’s events will address with what needs to be done to create more inclusive environments in which families thrive and children experience healthy physical and mental development.

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Day 3 - Aging
17th October, 2019

Reshaping Later Life

For a society that has long ago projected an ageing population, little has changed in the way we plan and build for life’s later years. The culture of secluding older adults in specific points in the city has created an environment that excludes a sector of society most in need of support and integration. Our mature population is underrepresented in urban planning, exacerbating the social isolation that contributes to higher mortality rates.

Day 3 of the festival will deal with how we can change our approach to planning for the older adults, towards better physical and mental health and access to participating and benefitting fully from city life.

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Day 4 - Mental Health
18th October, 2019

Urban Design for Mental Health

Mental health is now being recognised as a powerful determinant of wellbeing across all sectors. In the context of an ever urbanising society, the rise of loneliness, depression, time-poverty, and stress are indicators that our cities must take a pro-active role in supporting our psychological, emotional, and social needs.

Day 4 of the festival will focus on how to create the conditions for mental health to become a priority in how we design our streets and buildings.

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Day 5 - Conscious Cities Fair

16th October, 2019

The Conscious Cities Festival culminates on a Saturday with a fair that will gather local communities, artists, and speakers to open up a wide discussion on what would make a more conscious city?

Local and international organisations working at the forefront of improving urban life will present their ideas focused on the festival’s thematics: Resilience, Families, Aging, and Mental Health. Highlights from the festival talks and past events will be screened and addressed in open discussions as fair visitors publicly voice issues facing communities and individuals, as well as generate ideas with other participants, experts and local representatives.

Installation and performance artists will inspire us to think about our relationship with the city, the future challenges we face, and the opportunities presented through a human-centered approach to design and decision-making.

Finally, this year’s festival will launch the Conscious Design Awards, celebrating architecture and urbanism projects that exemplify positive social impact in a number of categories: Original Research, Application of Behavioural Science to Design, Measured Impact, Community Leadership, and Governance.

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Date and Time

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New York

New York, NY 00000

Refund Policy

Refunds up to 30 days before event

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