We are an independent global nonprofit publication committed to advancing urban progress.

Independent, apolitical and nonpartisan, we center our reporting on urban activists – people deeply committed to the community – and their creative local solutions to tackle the challenges our cities face.

We intentionally collaborate at every stage of our reporting to accommodate multidisciplinary visions on those urban solutions.

Stories are delivered with purpose by a worldwide network of non-journalist activists, artists, scientists, researchers, urban farmers and more, who add multidisciplinary perspectives to the stories.

OUR VISION

Our vision is to tell the stories that fully represent the views and local solutions of the communities, not only the individuals running our cities. Yet when the voices, stories and effective solutions of urban activists are disproportionately left out, the result is reporting that reinforces an exclusively mainstream view. We are constantly raising the volume off the mainstream.

OUR MISSION

We seek to break silos with our nonpartisan insight and analysis and help power the decisions of city administrators, as well as the general public working with cities, in order that they may consider a wide spectrum of disciplines and backgrounds.

We generate evergreen journalism with the power to democratize urban solutions, inspire progressive action in cities and create a global network of action. Our articles cultivate a permanent Guide of Urban Actions, free to access and bringing inspiration to everyone. We believe that what is effective in Cairo, could work in New York, and vice versa.

EDITORIAL INDEPENDENCE POLICY

Our organization retains full authority over editorial content to protect the best journalistic interests of our organization. Our organization may consider economic contributions to support the coverage of particular topics, but our organization maintains editorial control of the coverage. We will cede no right of review or influence of editorial content, nor of unauthorized distribution of editorial content.

The Urban Activist is a nonprofit. We are grateful to the foundations and people who make our work possible: 1014 NYC Space for Ideas, and supporters like you.

We aim to help others!


Susana Fernández Molina is the founder and Editor-at-Large of The Urban Activist. In 2019, after a long international exposure in the corporate finance world, she launched The Urban Activist to energize creative approaches to pressing urban issues.

Visual storytelling and original urban activism reporting engage the public in what it means to be human in a city.

Contributors

Abdallah Tawfic

Abdallah Tawfic

Tawfic is an architect but he sees himself more as an environmentalist and urban farmer. He graduated from Cairo University and has  a master degree in Resource Efficiency in Architecture and Planning (REAP) from HafenCity University in Hamburg.

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Abdallah Tawfic

Tawfic is an architect but he sees himself more as an environmentalist and urban farmer. He graduated from Cairo University and has  a master degree in Resource Efficiency in Architecture and Planning (REAP) from HafenCity University in Hamburg. His Master thesis, entitled “Retrofitting Green Roofs to the Urban Morphology of Informal Settlements”, was awarded the “HOLCIM student prize for Sustainability”. He has led several research experiments on different techniques of soilless agriculture like hydroponics and aquaponics.

Tawfic is currently working as a Technical Professional at the German International Cooperation (GIZ). He is also the co-founder and Head of Research & Development of Urban Greens Egypt. He is also a freelance consultant for the United States Forest Service International Program.

Gemma Barricarte

Gemma Barricarte

Gemma Barricarte graduated from the Barcelona School of Architecture and she is one of the promoters of Fridays for Future in Spain and former spokesperson for Fridays for Future Barcelona.

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Gemma Barricarte

Gemma Barricarte graduated from the Barcelona School of Architecture and she is currently doing an interdisciplinary master’s degree at the Institute of Environmental Sciences and Technology of the Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona. She has been involved in environmental activism with Ecologists in Action, among others, and she is also one of the promoters of Fridays for Future in Spain and former spokesperson for Fridays for Future Barcelona. She intends to explore and dedicate herself to issues related to art and ecology.

Jennifer Hope Davy

Jennifer Hope Davy is an artist, editor and writer based in Berlin. She is currently working on a novel based in Oklahoma, playing with Franz Kafka’s Nature Theatre of Oklahoma (Amerika) and the modern history of Oklahoma as a reflective microcosm for contemporary “America,” which she began as a Tulsa Artist Fellow (2017-2019). Davy received her BFA from the San Francisco Art Institute and her PhD from the European Graduate School|EGS. Working across disciplines, her practice centers on the politics and potentiality of perception and interruption, mediating between cognition and visibility. Recently she had the privilege to assist editing After 1921: Notes from Tulsa’s Black Wall Street and Beyond edited by Crystal Z Campbell and her book, Staging Aporia: putting together impossible things, critical encounters with art and theory, was just published by Passagen Verlag.

Laura Scherling, Ed.D.

Laura Scherling is a senior interactive designer, researcher, and educator––working and teaching design and data visualization at Columbia University. Scherling holds a doctorate from Columbia University Teachers College. She is the co-editor of the recently published book Ethics in Design and Communication: New Critical Perspectives (Bloomsbury Academic UK). Scherling is also the co-founder of GreenspaceNYC, a nonprofit sustainability and design collective. Her work has been published in Brookings Metro, Design and Culture, Spark Journal, Interiors: Design/Architecture/Culture, and the Futures Worth Preserving Cultural Constructions of Nostalgia and Sustainability.

Lucas Snaije

Lucas Snaije

Lucas Snaije is an urbanist and DJ, currently based out of Amsterdam. With an academic background in Anthropology and Urban Geography, a lot of his research focuses on the role of grassroots movements in bringing about urban change.

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Lucas Snaije

Lucas Snaije is an urbanist and DJ, currently based out of Amsterdam. With an academic background in Anthropology and Urban Geography, a lot of his research focuses on the role of grassroots movements in bringing about urban change. Currently, he works at the cycling advocacy NGO bycs.org as research manager and is a resident on Radio Echobox

Maha Sano

Maha Sano

Maha Sano is Producer and Entrepreneur in Cultural and Creative industries with over fifteen years experience in delivering Moroccan theatre, street art and photography projects.

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Maha Sano

Maha Sano is Producer and Entrepreneur in Cultural and Creative industries with over fifteen years experience in delivering Moroccan theatre, street art and photography projects. She is the author of the play “Dialy” who challenges the taboo of female sexuality.
She is also the founder of Association Badira CCD for preserving and digitizing moroccan cultural heritage, and co-founder of Marocopedia, a digital platform that presents shorts documentary about Moroccan cultural heritage.
Maha is quadrilingual (Arabic, Japanese, French and English) and is committed to the cultural development of Morocco and inclusive access to education and information.

Michelle Frank

Michelle Frank

Michelle Frank is a science writer and poet pursuing an M.A. in Biography and Memoir. Her poetry has earned writing grants from Sundog Poetry Center and the Ossabaw Island Writers’ Retreat, and her current work focuses on underrepresented voices in physics and ecology.

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Michelle Frank

Michelle Frank is a science writer and poet pursuing an M.A. in Biography and Memoir. Her poetry has earned writing grants from Sundog Poetry Center and the Ossabaw Island Writers’ Retreat, and her current work focuses on underrepresented voices in physics and ecology. Recent poems and essays can be found in Resilience Quarterly and Plant-Human Quarterly. Michelle is inspired by connections between social justice, science and the arts.

Natalia Bazaiou

Natalia Bazaiou architect and researcher. Her research interests focus on cities as learning and playful environments, through various narrative techniques. She lives and practices architecture in Athens. On 2015 she co-founded with Anastasia Noukaki and a team of architects, artists, educators, engineers the studio Athensuperscript that creates architectural workshops for kids, participatory design projects & public space interventions. 

Paige Emery

Paige Emery

Paige Emery is a multidisciplinary artist exploring the ecological body and its interaction with the Earth. She is Co-Director at activist and theory group, The Future Left and she received her Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Arts from Laguna College of Art & Design.

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Paige Emery

Paige Emery is a multidisciplinary artist exploring the ecological body and its interaction with the Earth. An embodied gardener and environmental activist, she has a daily practice of working with plants and nonhumans.

She is Co-Director at activist and theory group, The Future Left, Researcher at New Centre for Research & Practice, and she received her Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Arts from Laguna College of Art & Design.

She currently inhabits Tongva Land in Los Angeles, California.

Sara Grossman

Sara Grossman

Based between London and Berlin, Sara Grossman attended UC Berkeley, majoring in Political Economy. Currently she works with policy think tanks, arts & culture institutions, and the organization Othering & Belonging Institute on equity and justice issues.

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Sara Grossman

I’m the proud product of LA public schools, where I discovered my love of writing, politics, and current affairs. After graduating high school, I attended UC Berkeley, majoring in Political Economy (officially) and journalism (non-officially, but after spending 10 hours a day / six days a week in the newsroom, I think it counts!). Although I planned to become a journalist after graduating (and was lucky to hone my skills as an intern at major media outlets like CNN), my plans changed during senior year when I joined the Othering & Belonging Institute, a then-newly inaugurated think tank at the University of California working on equity and justice issues. Although I started as a student editorial fellow, I have continued to grow with the Institute from my new home(s) in Europe, and now manage major digital campaigns and long-term comms projects for OBI.

In addition to my work with the Institute, I have produced editorial projects for a number of cause-driven organisations in Europe and the UK. During my time in Berlin, I also co-founded Angles, a collective of artists and writers who told stories about the many ways life is lived in the city today. You can still view our work on Instagram.

Valeria Schiller

Valeria Schiller

Valeria Schiller is a Ukrainian curator, art historian and art critic living now in Berlin. Before the war in Ukraine, she taught art history at the Kyiv Academy of Media Arts. Currently, she works at artslooker.com as an editor-in-chief, an online media about contemporary art.

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Valeria Schiller

Valeria Schiller — born 1994. Art historian, curator, author and editor of texts. From 2016 to 2018 she had been working in the archive of the PinchukArtCentre`s Research Platform, in 2019 — as a Junior Curator of the PinchukArtCentre and a Curatorial Team Member at the Babyn Yar Holocaust Memorial Centre. Since 2019 she has been teaching art history at the Kyiv Academy of Media Arts. Currently, she works at the online media about contemporary art artslooker.com as an editor-in-chief.

Vivienne Marquart

Vivienne Marquart

Vivienne Marquart is a social and cultural anthropologist interested in urbanity, migration, and the various forms of memory and remembrance. She gained her PhD at the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology.

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Vivienne Marquart

Vivienne Marquart is a social and cultural anthropologist interested in urbanity, migration, and the various forms of memory and remembrance. She gained her PhD at the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology, doing research in Istanbul (Turkey) on the construction and contestation of cultural heritage, focusing especially on UNESCO World Heritage.

Yasmeen Abdallah

Yasmeen Abdallah

Yasmeen Abdallah is an interdisciplinary artist, independent curator, educator, and activist. Her work is featured in public, private, and traveling collections in the U.S. and abroad. She works with several nonprofits and educational institutions in the arts, education and curatorial sectors.

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Yasmeen Abdallah

Yasmeen Abdallah is an interdisciplinary artist, independent curator, educator, and activist. Her work is featured in public, private, and traveling collections in the U.S. and abroad. Her approach compounds the political and personal, exploring socially-engaged issues and unpacking the complexities entangled within humanity. She works with several nonprofits and educational institutions in the arts, education and curatorial sectors. She graduated magna cum laude with honors from University of Massachusetts in 2013, and received an MFA with distinction from Pratt Institute in 2015. Abdallah has been a visiting artist, guest critic, lecturer, and panelist at Sarah Lawrence College, Columbia University Teaching College, Parsons School for Design, Pratt Institute, Fairleigh Dickinson University, University of Massachusetts, Free City Radio, El Barrio Artspace PS109, Art Uncovered, Talking Pictures, Bust Magazine, and Transborder Art.