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Commentary Article June 8th, 2021
Cities • Delivery • Infrastructure

Using Infrastructure Funds to Transform Our Lonely Places into Convivial Cities

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Read @Dan_Vogel & @ronivey article in @NewsweekOpinion, where they argue that DC must pass an #infrastructurebill & empower mayors to rebuild divided places into convivial cities

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How can local leaders embrace opportunities to combat isolation & polarisation to enable more people & places to flourish? @Dan_Vogel & @ronivey suggest thoughtful policies & investments prioritising human connection

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"If leaders in Washington successfully pass an infrastructure bill, federal funds bring the opportunity to reimagine our communities" @Dan_Vogel & @ronivey in @Newsweek

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In the 1958 Academy award-winning film Mon Oncle, Monsieur Hulot lives in an “older” Parisian quarter filled with the organized chaos of fishmongers, vegetable stands, and flower vendors. Bands of children and small dogs run in dusty streets. Neighbors gab and squabble at cafés and on tree-lined sidewalks. In contrast, Hulot bicycles to his brother’s family in a modern neighborhood of honking cars, highrises, and geometric gated homes filled with the latest “time-saving” machines; their constant beeping, buzzing, and squeaking is the only sound the audience hears. Hulot’s 9-year old nephew, Gérard, prefers his uncle’s convivial neighborhood to the isolating modern one, setting the stage for the brotherly conflict of the comedy.

Hulot’s nephew was on to something. A growing chorus of social scientists, psychologists, neuroscientists, and even economists have validated that neighborhoods with high-quality social connections are essential to public health, democratic legitimacy, and inclusive economies. Unfortunately, many residents now find themselves in neighborhoods designed for efficient movement and consumption, not for conviviality. But, if leaders in Washington successfully pass an infrastructure bill, federal funds bring the opportunity to reimagine our communities.

If leaders in Washington successfully pass an infrastructure bill, federal funds bring the opportunity to reimagine our communities.

Read the full article on Newsweek here.

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We find purpose and meaning by caring for people and places. For all our residents to flourish, we of course need our neighborhoods to be efficient, clean and materially prosperous.

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Written by:

Ron Ivey CEO, Rembrandt Collective
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Dan Vogel Director, North America
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