Integrated Research Centers

CityCraft Integrated Research Centers

Regional CityCraft Integrated Research Centers (CIRCs) serve as the home for the research and interdisciplinary collaboration essential to developing customized regenerative strategies for the cities within a relatively homogenous geographic area. CIRCs help ensure five critical components of CityCrafting take place in the course of a local urban restoration project:

  1. Generate sustainability plans that reflect all systems and conditions
  2. Develop agreed-upon metrics that give appropriate weight to financial, human and natural capital in the course of defining and measuring local economies and cultures
  3. Capture the best thinking of all stakeholders, including the general public, to trigger the exploration of multi-disciplined, systems-driven regenerative strategies
  4. Ensure the CityCrafting process is appropriately data- and research-driven
  5. Maintain an objective and transparent evaluation process with no bias in terms of agenda and funding

Ideally, CIRCs are led by local universities in the bio-region with appropriate representation from their urban planning and architectural departments and other disciplines such as hard sciences, sociology, economics, public health, and political science. In addition to academic representatives, professionals and other stakeholders in the community are active participants. All of these parties agree to work together under the umbrella of the CIRC to promote sustainable urban development in the region.

To support a CityCrafting project over a multi-year period, CIRCs:

  1. Conduct research on systems and trends within the target area
  2. Develop metrics and capture baseline measures regarding the status of all critical systems in the area
  3. Share data and research results with full transparency
  4. Craft interdisciplinary hypotheses and capture consensus regarding paths forward
  5. Sponsor debate and deliberation on those findings
  6. Facilitate all of these processes to move toward a final consensus plan

Further, CIRCs promote the discipline of CityCrafting in general as they:

  1. Develop data and areas of study that can be incorporated into undergraduate and graduate level curriculums
  2. Maintain a repository of data, studies and reports for use locally and by researchers and CIRCs around the country and internationally

It is our vision that CIRCs will form throughout North America, not only to serve their local communities but to share information with each other, creating a “North American Learning Network” whose members actively share and debate best practices related to systems-scale, sustainable, holistic urban regeneration.

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