J Max Bond Center

For Urban Futures

J Max Bond Center

For Urban Futures

Our mission is to build upon the
philosophy of architect and activist
J. Max Bond Jr. to advance broad
solutions that help realize the
empowering capacity of the built

We strive to enable people and the
built environment to provide equitable, democratic opportunities
and, living conditions to ensure
successful urban futures for all.


We believe that cities should reflect the kind of humanity we aspire to.


We believe that cities should reflect the kind of humanity we aspire to.


Our collective urban future is an uncertain one. Structural inadequacies, have increased urban inequality, and disparities particularly among underserved communities at a rate much faster than solutions.

The challenges they face are numerous, affordable housing, displacement, environmental injustice, health and economic opportunity.

These are key indicators of social and spatial justice, of which all citizens have a right to.


The J. Max Bond Center is an organization with roots in the Nation's first community design corporations ARCH Architects Renewal Committee of Harlem founded in 1967.

We have a responsibility to
look, listen, learn and translate
the core social values that
ensure healthy equitable communities.

We believe this must be performed
with integrity and an accountability
to the very communities
we seek to serve.


We aim to create the
conditions and solutions
that empower communities
to reach their full potential.

We aspire to create forward thinking, equitable and just cities that foster success for both the individual and for the collective community.

Our platform seeks to leverage interdisciplinary innovation in order to integrate the complex urban intersections of architecture, urbanization, policy, technology, art, and sustainability.

"Architecture inevitably involves all the larger issues of society."


J. Max Bond Jr. (1935-2009) former
Dean of the City College of New York
School of Architecture and Environmental
Studies was an internationally prominent
African-American architect, educator, and
advocate for racial and social justice.
In 2012, the Board of Trustees of the
City College of New York created the
J. Max Bond Center, located within
the Spitzer School of Architecture.

Our namesake, J. Max Bond comes
from a lineage of activists, committed
to the issues of social justice for those
on the margins – Max as an architect
and Julian Bond (Max’s cousins) as a lawyer.
Max and Julian’s legacy will continue
to shape JMBC’s pursuits to Design
for the Just City.



Toni Griffin


Achva Benzinberg Stein


Avi Nagel

Research Associate

Renee Sasson

Research Assistant

Julio Salcedo F.

Faculty Consultant

"I have always viewed architecture as a social art... about values, culture and power. Underlying my own design is a concern with social uplift."

J. MAX BOND JR. 1991


Our work is centered on creating
and transmitting innovation that
is both actionable and scalable
toward improving the welfare
of our human existence.

We respond to specific issues and create
cross-disciplinary vehicles to improve
social and cultural cohesion, equitable
architectural and urban production,
as well as a more socially responsible,
resilient environment.


Areas of Interest:


We engage in the transformative work of creating equitable communities of opportunity.
We are developing impactful
scalable strategies, problem
specific solutions and applicable theory.

Equitable Economics
Equitable Economics

Affordable Housing
Affordable Housing

Resilient Communities
Resilient Communities

Citizen Governance
Citizen Governance

Agile Policy Reform
Agile Policy Reform

Data Dependency
Data Dependency

Social Health
Social Health

Environmental Justice
Environmental Justice


Our work has 4 primary goals:

  • Breaking down social hierarchy
  • Stimulating civic participation
  • Encouraging a more equitable & inclusive society
  • Empowering people





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