You Love Your City, But Does It Love You Back?

And How Urban Impact Lab Can Help

Cities affect so many aspects of our lives. They can spur innovation and growth through educational investments and entrepreneurial support. A city can affect its residents’ physical and mental health by investing in excellent walking, biking and mass transit infrastructure.

Affordable housing policies, safety, art and culture, even robust dining and social activities are all shaped directly by a city’s policy and design. In turn, each of these elements of daily life slowly constructs each resident’s sense of self, ability to learn and adapt, and propensity to succeed.

In short, the way a city is designed and functions has direct and significant impacts on an individual’s life. Just recently, Monocle’s annual Quality of Life Survey captured the essence of what great cities do to constantly propel their resident’s quality of life forward. Curiously, not one US city falls in the top 25.

In cities like Miami, where Urban Impact Lab is based, the gaps are growing ever wider. While educational performance grows modestly, the division between our most impoverished and wealthiest residents continues to widen. Congestion worsens as transit infrastructure falls further behind. Miami’s start up community is growing, but the ability for businesses to scale up is hindered by available capital, resources, and sometimes talent.

Despite these challenges, we believe Miami and cities like it have the potential to become global leaders. The city’s diversity and resilience already make it a model for what much of the US will look like. And Miami tops the list in entrepreneurial activity which tells the story of the vibrancy and competitiveness that is part of the community’s DNA. So what’s keeping us from being on that top 25 list?

Since 2013, Urban Impact Lab has worked on a variety of projects and issues, all seeking to accomplish one thing: improve our city, and by default, everyone’s quality of life. We work on large and small scale initiatives, public and private. We partner with organizations to help steer their investments into the causes they seek to impact and have attracted national investments into local resilience initiatives. We work on local grassroots community projects, as well as working directly with decision-makers to create and implement policies that yield improved outcomes for all residents.

In doing this work, we’ve encountered a few “gaps” — instances where great initiatives falter for a variety of avoidable reasons. These experience have allowed us to hone a few specialties:

  • Understanding how to approach and develop social impact and civic related projects.
  • Designing and implementing the strategies that helps these projects succeed.
  • Developing an approach that is both data-driven and community-driven to clearly capture outcomes and measure impact.
  • Expanding our governmental relations skills to effectively drive policy change.

We’ve seen the individuals behind great initiatives not know where to start or quickly get lost in the processes. Sometimes it’s a business that wants to relocate to Miami but are overwhelmed by navigating local regulatory requirements. Most often, it’s a business, organization, or individual that wants to meaningfully contribute to a cause or community they care about, but can’t cut through the confusion of siloed efforts and local requirements. We’ve also seen the limitations of working exclusively in either the private or public realms and the need to bridge these worlds for everyone’s benefit.

Moving forward, it’s clear that the answer lies somewhere in the middle, and we are more than prepared to build that middle ground.

As we approach our five-year anniversary, we are even more passionate about working with anyone spearheading great initiatives that benefit our community, strengthen our city and improve our everyday lives. We are excited to grow our impact together.

If you’d like to learn more, let’s jump on a 15 minute phone call for a strategy session to see if we are a good fit: https://calendly.com/uil/meet-ui-lab.