6 inspiring city innovations from around the world – including one from Philly

The Philadelphia Inquirer
By Harris Steinberg

The 21st century is destined to be the century of the city.

During the last decade, the percentage of the world’s population living in urban areas topped the 50 percent mark for the first time, with more than 80 percent of Americans living in metropolitan areas.  At the same time, Philadelphia’s population increased for the first time in over 60 years; adding more than 79,000 residents since 2006.

Developing innovative strategies to ensure that our cities thrive equitably is one of the great challenges of our age. Solving thorny urban problems such as affordable housing, the scourge of the opioid crisis, and managing growth in an era of constrained resources  are not easy fixes.

At Drexel, we asked the question: “What skills does the 21st century urbanist need to tackle these challenges?”  In response, the Lindy Institute for Urban Innovation, in conjunction with Westphal College of Media Arts and Design, launched its Master of Science in Urban Strategy (MSUS) graduate program last fall.  Designed as the first multidisciplinary urban problem-solving program in the country, the MSUS program is training the next generation of urban leaders charged with solving social, environmental, and economic problems in an increasingly complex, dynamic, and interconnected world.