Emerging Urban Leaders


The Emerging Urban Leaders program addresses the growing demand for access to nature in urban spaces. Launching in 2021, this initiative will create a network that includes architects, urban planners, community organizers, policymakers and conservationists, who are matched with mentors to develop innovative solutions and quality cities of the future.

Why do we need an Emerging Urban Leaders program?

Most people now live in cities and this trend is set to continue and accelerate. Unfortunately, many cities are neither good for their populations nor for the planet. The environment we live in affects how we live our lives and the quality of the lives we lead. However, rather than promoting nature, health, and equity our urban environments often do the reverse. Green space is frequently undervalued and, in many cases, remains a preserve of the wealthy. The design of towns and cities commonly encourages unhealthy behaviors and a lack of social cohesion. And public spaces can be unengaging or even unwelcoming.

The power to shape urban spaces is too often held in the hands of a few and neglects the wants and needs of many urban residents.

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought many of these issues into the mainstream and a global conversation is beginning about rethinking the urban contract.

The Emerging Urban Leaders program pushes that conversation forward and outward. It brings together a diverse, cross-sectoral, and international cohort of practitioners and changemakers who together will implement innovative, practical interventions to tackle the problems facing our urban environments and to help build the quality cities of the future.