Making Great Cities: Democracy + Design

Meeting:  October 18, 2013
Aired on KLCC:  October 21, 2013

Maurice Cox, former City Councilor and Mayor of Charlottesville, VA, and now Director of the Tulane City Center Initiative in New Orleans, LA.

Maurice Cox has spent almost two decades forging ties between design education, the political realm, and the public. He is the Director of the Tulane City Center Initiative, and former Councilor and Mayor of Charlottesville, Virginia. A co-founder of the national SEED (Social, Economic, Environmental, Design) Network, Cox served as design director of the National Endowment for the Arts in Washington, DC from 2007-2010. In that capacity, he led the Mayor’s Institute on City Design, the Governor’s Institute on Community Design and oversaw the award of more than $2 million a year in NEA design grants across the United States.

Cox is a nationally respected community designer and leader of the public interest design movement. His appreciation of the civic process led him to serve as city councilor and then mayor of the City of Charlottesville from 1996-2004. During Cox’s mayoral term, the city was ranked as the "#1 Best Place to Live in the USA & Canada" and the city was also the smallest in America to maintain a AAA-bond rating for excellence in fiscal management with a municipal city budget of $100 million. He has received national acclaim for his ability to incorporate active citizen participation into the design process while achieving the highest quality of design excellence, leading Fast Company business magazine to name him one of America’s "20 Masters of Design" for his practice of "democratic design."

This program is a grassroots, volunteer-led effort by the AIA/SWO Design Excellence Committee working in partnership with City Club and the University of Oregon A&AA Fall Lecture. We are grateful to our sponsors: Lane Transit District, the University of Oregon, local community members, and local community groups.