Urban American City
Toni L. Griffin is the founder of urbanAC, llc, based in New York, specializing in leading complex, trans-disciplinary planning, and urban design projects for multi-sector clients in cities with long histories of spatial and social injustice. Recent urban planning projects that showcase how the practice transforms legacy issues of population and economic decline into innovative places for inclusion, prosperity, and equity include the Chouteau Greenway Framework Plan, Detroit Future City, and MKE United: AGreater Downtown Action Agenda. The practice has also served as a strategic advisor to mayors, civic leaders in Washington, DC., Memphis, St. Louis looking to design comprehensive urban planning frameworks that integrate land use, economic growth, capacity building, and power-sharing. Recently, urbanAC has been working with clients including the City of Philadelphia Rebuild initiative and the Heinz Endowments to develop theory of change models and inclusive criteria for investing in civic infrastructure. Additionally, Toni has served as program advisor and facilitator to the Surdna Foundation and Heinz Endowments to more deeply embed the principles of just urbanism into their funding criteria and evaluation of social impact design practices. Toni is also Professor in Practice of Urban Planning at the Harvard Graduate School of Design and leads The Just City Lab, a research platform for developing values-based planning methodologies and tools, including the 2017 Just City Index and a framework of indicators and metrics for evaluating social justice in public space. The 2015 Urban Life and Urban Justice in Public Plazas study developed an elaborate framework of indicators and metrics to assess how the conditions of civic life and social justice in several New York City Public plazas. Toni is also co-editor of The Just City Index: Volume One, a collection of 26 essays by thought leaders representing 22 different cities and 5 countries, offering their propositions for ways to acknowledge injustice and promote greater justice in cities.