About Us

The Center for City Design advances radical alternatives to exclusionary policies and extractive practices that shape our cities today. Through the lens of spatial and social justice, the Center catalyzes critical research, creative work, and strategic collaborations to address precarious living and working conditions in cities everywhere.

For too long, capital accumulation practices and racist policies, including but not limited to, market-driven and nonprofit real estate investment, ‘urban renewal’ schemes, and financialization of land and housing have led to the fragmentation of our cities into pockets of wealth and poverty and have accelerated racial and environmental injustices. The Center counters this dominant and familiar pattern by supporting the study, exploration, and envisioning of alternative modes of city design. The Center promotes collaboration between USC faculty, students, and community members whose voices and expertise are normally unheard in the design and decision-making processes. This is an important feature of our work as we seek to include in the city design process local expertise that comes from everyday lived experiences.

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The Center For City Design @ USC Architecture was founded in 2022 to advance research and design that address spatial precarity in our cities