Our Work

City Craft

Thought Leadership | Training individuals to meet the challenges of urban thriving


Thought Leadership | Facilitating a new paradigm of civic thought and practice

RVA Thrives

Community Engagement | Driving community engagement in Richmond, VA

City Voice Platform

Technology | Leveraging social analytics into community investment

Indicator Explorer

Technology | Enabling wise measurement for community thriving

Institutional Partners

Our Supporters | Institutions who have supported our work

City Craft

Based on the Human Ecology Framework, City Craft is a leadership development curriculum and suite of curated resources designed for training a wide array of individual and institutional impact-makers to understand and meet the modern challenges of urban thriving.

Approach: Human Ecology Framework


Project Partner:

RVA Thrives

RVA Thrives is a community initiative that seeks equitable thriving along the Jefferson-Davis Corridor in Richmond, Virginia.

Peer-funded by six local foundations, RVA Thrives fuels people’s capacity to reach their full potential, as individuals as well as communities, and to take the lead in the decisions affecting their neighborhoods.

Approach: Civic Design Cycle

RVA Thrives drives community engagement around three resident-selected priorities:


Job Access


Neighborhood Beautification

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Neighborhood Safety


Project Partners:


City Voice Platform

The Platform is a web-based technology that employs the City Voice Ensemble method and is designed to enable community-oriented foundations to map social data, highlight community needs and assets, amend to resident feedback, and eventually evaluate community investment projects using our groundbreaking form of social analytics.

Approach: City Voice Ensemble


Project Partners:

Thriving Cities Lab

The Thriving Cities Lab is an ongoing research initiative at the Institute for Advanced Studies at the University of Virginia to advance and engage leading-edge research around human and community thriving.

Approach: The Human Ecology


Current Lab Research:

Henry Luce Foundation Grant

Thriving Cities Lab is conducting a year-long research study on university-community partnerships funded by the Henry Luce Foundation. This study is working to 1) understand the current state of the field nationally, 2) illustrate work happening across the country through brief case studies, and 3) uncover and illuminate the necessary civic infrastructure for universities and local communities to establish lasting, effective and collaborative partnerships. This work will be shared and workshopped at the Coalition for Urban Metropolitan Universities Annual Conference in October. The tentatively titled "Field Guide for Urban University-Community Partnerships" will be available online in early 2019.

Collaborative Lab Research:

Surdna Foundation Grant

Thriving Cities Lab is working with Barbara Wilson, Assistant Professor of Urban and Environmental Planning and Liz Ogbu, social impact designer to design a community-engaged approach to pre-development social impact analysis, funded by the Surdna Foundation. Three facilitated design-thinking workshops, a series of expert interviews, and student supported research are being used to gather a variety of methods to assess the social impacts of design and redevelopment. This work will develop a set of social impact metrics intended to be used in other settings both locally in Charlottesville and beyond.


Project Partners:

Indicator Explorer

The Indicator Explorer is a unique online data discernment tool that connects people with the social data indicators they need to measure what social metrics matter most based on validated evidence of what works best for making communities thrive. It enables users to discern how their issue is connected to other issues across the human ecology and what experts think are the most important short-term outcomes around which to build strategies for a user’s desired long-term impact.


Institutions Who Have Supported Our Work: