Jake Levitas

I am Co-Founder of Our City, a new nonprofit organization that empowers residents to imagine and build the future of their communities.

We help governments, cultural institutions, and individuals make their cities better together, through imaginative public design festivals, workshops, and installations.

Over the past eight years, I have worked across four sectors to develop new models for civic engagement. I have leveraged my experience as a community organizer, city employee, professional planner, and practicing designer and consultant to develop successful large-scale, cross-sector initiatives.

With a specific focus on innovative work in public space, I have helped coin and shape the concept of urban prototyping as a tactical complement to conventional urban planning processes.

My projects have generated over 40,000 hours of civic engagement, and have been featured in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Wired, Fast Company, CityLab, The Associated Press, and other domestic and international outlets. My projects have received funding from the National Endowment for the Arts, The Adobe Foundation, The San Francisco Foundation, American Express, and Waze, among others.

Most recently, I served as Senior Advisor to the San Francisco Planning Department and Yerba Buena Center for the Arts on the Market Street Prototyping Festival.

I served full-time as a Mayor's Innovation Fellow in the San Francisco Mayor's Office of Civic Innovation, where I focused on creative approaches and policies for engaging with the public realm.

Previously, I served as Research Director at Gray Area Foundation for the Arts, and in the Planning Group at Arup.

I also co-founded Civic Design Camp, an international series of local gatherings to improve design in government.

I believe prototyping can positively transform our cities.

The quickest way to learn why and how is to watch my TEDx talk, The Revolution Will Be Prototyped, or check out the slides.

You can also hear my story on the San Francisco People Podcast.

Say hi.

levitasj ::at:: gmail ::dot:: com
@CivicInnovation :: Writing on Medium
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