Home » Our Work » Special Projects

Special Projects

Co-City Baton Rouge
The Co-City Project

The Co-City Model is an applied research partnership and platform developed by the LABoratory for GOVernance of the City as a Commons (LABGOV) based at Georgetown University and the Marron Institute of Urban Management at New York University. The Co-City Initiative has partnered with Build Baton Rouge to apply the model in support of a multi-stakeholder approach to community engagement for the agency’s redevelopment efforts.

In Bologna, Italy the Co-City process resulted in a local regulation which allowed city residents to partner with city officials to revitalize public spaces and to utilize vacant and abandoned city assets toward specific neighborhood projects. It also led to the creation of an Office of Civic Imagination Office as a policy laboratory where city staff work with residents to develop ideas and co-design local initiatives like a participatory budgeting process that is ongoing. As a result of the project, Bologna was the recipient of the Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Cities of Service Engaged Cities Award. In Harlem, NY the Co-City process is being utilized to improve access to fast, high quality digital resources, including broadband internet. The project is bringing together city officials, residents, local business and civic organizations to design and develop a co-governed, community-based affordable high-speed network to help bridge the digital divide. As in both of these examples, the goal of the Co-City protocol is to foster social innovation in urban services provision, spur collaborative economies as a driver of local economic development, and promote inclusive urban regeneration.

The Co-City/BBR Partnership

The Co-City/BBR partnership will involve the creation, modeling, and testing of novel neighborhood governance, financing, and participatory institutions that provide residents with long-term stakes in economic revitalization. The effort will promote community building while engaging a wide set of stakeholders who will pursue projects together with end users to overcome social inequalities and enhance the participation of underrepresented social groups. By focusing on neighborhood scale governance innovation, such as a Neighborhood Improvement District or a Community Infrastructure Trust, the Co-City methodology ensures that the project outcome focuses on residents, the various stakeholders, and their needs and interests in economic regeneration.

About the Partners

Sheila R. Foster is a Professor of Law and Public Policy (joint appointment with McCourt School of Public Policy) at Georgetown University. Foster writes in the areas of property, environmental policy, land use law, and state and local government. Foster co-developed LabGov with Christian Iaione (LUISS Guido Carli) over the last decade, developing the idea of the Co-City through their body of scholarship and applying its protocol in European, Latin American and now American cities.

Professor Clayton Gillette is the Director of the Marron Institute of Urban Management and the Max E. Greenberg Professor of Contract Law at the New York University School of Law. Gillette’s scholarship concentrates on local government law and commercial law. The Marron Institute of Urban Management is an applied research unit of New York University. Faculty and researchers from Marron work directly with cities and other governments to improve the delivery of municipal services.

Manohar “Manny” Patole is a Co-City Fellow and Project Manager for the Co-City/EBRRA project. He holds a Master of Urban Planning degree from NYU Wagner Graduate School of Public Service and UNESCO’s Institute for Water Education and University of Dundee’s Centre for Energy, Petroleum and Mineral Law and Policy with a LLm/ME specializing in Water Governance and Conflict Resolution and Water Conflict Management.

Click below for more information about the Co-City Baton Rouge Project.

LabGov Georgetown Co-City Baton Rouge Blog

Marron Institute: Introducing Co-City Baton Rouge

Baton Rouge Future Visioning Project

In 2019 Build Baton Rouge partnered with the City-Parish’s Smart City Committee to launch a future visioning project that would examine the impacts of automated mobility and climate change on urban development over the next decade. The effort began with a presentation by Build Baton Rouge CEO Christopher Tyson and Smart City Committee Chairman John Snow at the 2019 Urbanism Next Conference entitled, “The Missing Middle: Understanding the Unique Challenges of AV Adaptation for Mid-Size Metros.” After the presentation, Tyson and Snow teamed up with London-based Mica Architects and began working with the architecture firm to explore modeling opportunities for future land use and development scenarios based upon existing data on how automated mobility and climate change might impact Baton Rouge. In October 2019 Mica Architects visited Baton Rouge and presented to a number of local stakeholders over several sessions about these issues.

At the May 2020 Urbanism Next Conference, Tyson, Snow, and the team from Mica will lead a cohort to host a workshop entitled, “Automation & Climate Change on the Bayou: Remaking Prototypical Urban Corridors for the Future.” The workshop will center on Baton Rouge’s Florida Boulevard as a case study for adaptation and realignment around the realities and potentialities of automated mobility and climate change.