Cities are the future.

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3 out of 4 people will live in urban environments by 2050.

Cities are ground zero for working out human thriving in our time.

Thriving Cities Group is a nonprofit aligned with the University of Virginia that fosters healthier cities by disrupting and rebuilding the social and civic institutions that support community life. 

Thriving Cities Group at Work in Richmond


"We are working to get the community together, to get the community involved so we can make it better together.  That's what RVA Thrives is all about. That's what community's about." 

Rodney GaineS, Community Advocate for RVA ThriveS, a Thriving Cities Group Initiative 

Today, the civic and social institutions that support healthy community life are broken or struggling.


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  • On average only 15% of Americans vote in local elections (according to this project).

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  • Nearly 1/3 of Americans don't know any of their neighbors, 57% admit to only knowing a few.*

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  • 61% of Americans think more work is needed to address inequality in how different races are treated.**


Civic Design is an innovative combination of thought leadership, community engagement, data, and technology that works to disrupt and rebuild the social systems and structures that people and cities need to thrive.



The Promise of America's Underdog Cities

Watch this TEDx Talk with our President, Joshua Yates:

*Smith, Aaron, "Neighbors Online". Pew Internet and American Life Project: a project of the Pew Center for Research, June 9, 2010. Full report online at
**Parker, Kim et al. "On Views of Race and Inequality, Blacks and Whites are Worlds Apart" Pew Research Center, June 27, 2016. Full report available at