Book Talk: Co-Cities

In Conversation About "Co-Cities: Innovative Transitions toward Just and Self-Sustaining Communities"

Join us virtually on Monday, April 3 at 12 PM ET for a book talk and conversation on Co-Cities: Innovative Transitions toward Just and Self-Sustaining Communities, the 2021 publication by Sheila R. Foster and Christian Iaione. The writers will discuss their “co-city” framework, as explored in their book, which is uniquely rooted in the Foster and Iaione’s own decades-long research and first-hand experience working in cities around the world. The pair will then engage in conversation with Jennifer Bradley, Senior Fellow at Kresge Foundation. Time will be allotted for Q&A at the end of the program.

This event is free with RSVP. Capacity is limited, so we encourage you to sign-up today! For any questions, email

About the Book

The majority of the world’s inhabitants live in cities, but even with the vast wealth and resources these cities generate, their most vulnerable populations live without adequate or affordable housing, safe water, healthy food, and other essentials. And yet, cities also often harbor the solutions to the inequalities they create, as this book makes clear. With examples drawn from cities worldwide, Co-Cities outlines practices, laws, and policies that are presently fostering innovation in the provision of urban services, spurring collaborative economies as a driver of local sustainable development, and promoting inclusive and equitable regeneration of blighted urban areas.

Identifying core elements of these diverse efforts, Sheila R. Foster and Christian Iaione develop a framework for understanding how certain initiatives position local communities as key actors in the production, delivery, and management of urban assets or local resources. Within this framework, they explain the forms such initiatives increasingly take, like community land trusts, new kinds of co-housing, neighborhood cooperatives, community-shared broadband and energy networks, and new local offices focused on citizen science and civic imagination.

The “Co-City” framework is uniquely rooted in the authors’ own decades-long research and first-hand experience working in cities around the world. Foster and Iaione offer their observations as “design principles”—adaptable to local context—to help guide further experimentation in building just and self-sustaining urban communities.

Read more about the book here.

Monday, April 3
12:00 PM — 1:00 PM

Zoom Webinar


  • Book Talk: Co-Cities.
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  • Jennifer Bradley, Christian Iaione, and Sheila R. Foster.
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About the Speakers

Sheila R. Foster, Scott K. Ginsburg Professor of Urban Law and Policy and Professor of Public Policy at Georgetown University

Sheila R. Foster is the Scott K. Ginsburg Professor of Urban Law and Policy at Georgetown. She holds a joint appointment with the Georgetown Law School and the McCourt Public Policy School. Professor Foster is well known for her articles and books on environmental justice, including From the Ground Up: Environmental Racism and the Rise of the Environmental Justice Movement (with Luke Cole) and The Law of Environmental Justice (with Michael Gerrard).

Professor Foster has worked with government agencies and public officials on a range of issues, including environmental justice and climate policy. She was the chair of the advisory committee of the Global Parliament of Mayors from 2017-2020 and is a member of the New York City Mayor’s Panel on Climate Change where she co-chairs the workgroup on climate equity.

Foster also co-directs LabGov, an international applied research project that has pioneered a new model of urban governance and a path toward more equitable management of a city’s infrastructure and services. This approach is set forth in her forthcoming MIT Press book, Co-Cities: Innovative Transitions toward Just and Self-Sustaining Communities (with Christian Iaione)

You can find out more about her at

Christian Iaione, Professor of Law & Policy of Innovation & Climate Change, Urban Law & Policy, Climate-Neutral & Smart Cities at Luiss University Rome

Christian Iaione is professor of public law teaching courses on urban law & policy, law & policy of innovation & climate change at Luiss Guido Carli Law Department where he is also deputy director of the research center BILL-Blockchain, artificial Intelligence and digital innovation Law Lab, coordinator of the innovation area of the Luiss School of Law, faculty co-director of the graduate course in Law, Digital Innovation and Sustainability, and faculty co-director of LabGov – LABoratory for the GOVernance of the City as a Commons (a scientific partnership between Luiss University and Georgetown University).

He is also affiliated fellow of the Urban Law Center at Fordham University. He is Luiss scientific responsible for four EU-funded R&I projects (Open Heritage, EUARENAS, ENGAGE.EU R&I, and AWARE) and two national grants on the creation of energy communities and houses of emerging technologies. He is co-lead expert of the URBACT-UIA CO4CITIES project and member of the Urban Partnership on Innovative and Responsible Procurement within the Urban Agenda for the EU. He coordinates the City Science Office of the City of Reggio Emilia and represents it within the European Commission City Science Initiative.

Jennifer Bradley, Senior Fellow at Kresge Foundation

Jennifer Bradley is a senior fellow at The Kresge Foundation. Jennifer supports the American Cities Program at Kresge through convenings and thought leadership. She joined the foundation in 2021. Previously, Jennifer served as the director of the Center for Urban Innovation at the Aspen Institute, where she focused on inclusive innovation and equitable economic development strategies in cities.
Jennifer has also held positions with the Brookings Institution, where she co-authored The Metropolitan Revolution and developed state-level strategies to support metropolitan economic growth, and with the Constitutional Accountability Center, where she co-authored amicus briefs in major appellate cases that supported environmental protections and community development.

A native of Austin, Texas, Jennifer earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas, a Master of Philosophy from the University of Oxford and a juris doctorate from Georgetown University Law Center. She serves on the boards of the Edlavitch D.C. Jewish Community Center and the Open Contracting Partnership.