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.

Upcoming Events

Housing Justice

APRIL 18, 2022
1:00PM – 2:30PM

Erin McElroy (Anti-Eviction Mapping Project) and Cynthia Strathmann (Strategic Actions For A Just Economy) will discuss what it means for housing to be just and share their experiences in resisting unjust evictions and forced displacement in Los Angeles, New York City, and the San Francisco Bay Area. This teach-in will provide an opportunity to learn about institutional structures and extractive mechanisms that have turned housing into a commodity and how we can address housing injustices in our cities.  

Learn More | See Poster | ZOOM

Stories of Sugar Hill

MAY 6, 2023
10:00AM – 1:00PM
West Adams, Los Angeles, CA

Join Architecture + Advocacy, Street Poets Inc., Amazing Grace Conservatory, and USC Center for City Design for a day of food, art, and poetry to celebrate the past, present, and future of Sugar Hill. We will begin our neighborhood walk at 10:00am from Paul R. Williams’s designed First AME Church (2270 S Harvard Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90018). 

Learn More | See Poster | Walk Route

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


© 2022 Center For City Design | USC Architecture