Skip to content Skip to navigation

New collaborative project brings people together to design cities for and with people.

Students looking at a display
Jan 29 2016
Why are cities so important to our future? According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 54% of the global population lives in urban areas, up from 34% in 1960.  This trend shows no sign of slowing down with an increase of 1.84% every year between 2015 and 2020. With cities adding 2.5 billion people in just the next three decades, what can we do to make cities more environmentally sustainable, economically vibrant, and socially equitable?
That’s where the Stanford Human Cities Initiative (HCI) enters the picture. Last December, the Program on Urban Studies launched the Human Cities Initiative with the mission to guide urban development efforts to better serve the needs of people and communities. Led by Deland Chan, Program Manager for Service Learning and Lecturer in Urban Studies with Zephyr Frank, Director of Urban Studies and Professor in Latin American History, and Kevin Hsu, Associate Research Scientist at Disney Imagineering, the Initiative aims to promote a human-centered approach to urbanization through innovative curriculum, research, and thought leadership with real-world applications.
The Office of International Affairs (OIA) had the opportunity to meet with Professor Frank and Deland Chan to discuss the global impact of the Human Cities Initiative and how it also benefits research and the students seeking to design cities for and with urban dwellers. With support from an OIA seed grant, the Program on Urban Studies organized the Human Cities Expo at Stanford in December 2015 and plans to host a Human Cities @China event in the spring to reach a broader audience while engaging Stanford’s alumni in China on issues of sustainable development....