Community Design and Development for Forest City
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Helping communities thrive on a human scale
For the first time in history, more than half of the world’s population lives in a city. Motivated by this fact, IDEO and Forest City, the nation’s largest publicly traded commercial real estate development company, have embarked on a series of projects to help cities find new human-centered methodologies for supporting their communities. The projects have unique scopes but involve similar objectives: to help populate new and existing communities; to use the design process to overcome traditional city planning obstacles; and to help cities rebrand themselves through meaningful use of space and culture. Underlining all three of these themes is Forest City and IDEO’s commitment to designing human-centered communities and cities that are enduring and self-building.
To design strategies of this size and impact, IDEO and Forest City focus on the smaller components that compose the whole. Described as “working on the ground to build up,” the projects begin with grassroots canvassing of communities, including one-on-one conversations and group gatherings. By exploring a community’s identity and population through its inhabitants, IDEO is able to create behavior segments that diverge from traditional demographic studies to answer questions specific to that locale.
Forest City and IDEO collaborations have involved communities in California, Ohio, Illinois, Texas, Massachusetts and New York.
Project date: 2006