A Year in Reflection, 2020 in Review

1. Knox, the cargo e-trike

Photo by Robin Glauser on Unsplash

2. Digital Transparency in the Public Realm (DTPR) Signage for Sensors

  • The purpose of data collection
  • The technology used
  • Who is accountable for the project outcomes
  • What happens to the collected data
Photo credit: Kris Carter

3. TreeTect

4. Digital Curbs

5. The Public Space Invitational 2020

JennyMae Kho + Brianna Asbury
Napoleon Jones-Henderson, Chanel Thervil, Brianna Asbury, Marcos Beleche, JennyMae Kho distributing plants at El Jardín de la Amistad in Roxbury
Photo by Waldemar Brandt on Unsplash

6. Boston Food Access Network

Illustration Credit: Wandy Pascoal, Pat Falco

7. Future-Decker

Photo Credit: Yifan Lu

8. Office of Food Access Chatbot

Photo Credit: Olivia Yao

9. Welcoming Spaces for Recovery

  • Investigating and wrestling with the impact of physical space in the lives of those navigating substance use disorders and experiencing homelessness
  • Exploring and experimenting creative approaches to developing welcoming spaces for folks to build agency, develop trust and find delight
  • the potential for a 24-hour (or overnight) model of a low-threshold space
  • the Long Island Recovery Campus
  • the Future Engagement Center
  • and other projects in the queue
The Engagement Center, Photo Credit: Olivia Yao
  • Visit the Recovery Services website. You can sign up for their newsletter, watch the vignettes of care workers in this area, and learn how you can support recovery services across the city.
  • Consider using strengths-based language to reframe and de-stigmatize substance use disorder (SUD) in your personal and professional life. Here is a resource from Recovery Services to start: Reflect, Respect: A Prevention Language Guide (spanish version).
Sample SWOT Analysis tool — TechBoston Academy, Credit: Scott Muhlstein, Aaron Zaubi

10. Civic Adventures in 2020

Screenshots of student worksheets for exploring the Student Action Portal, a prototype website to support youth-led civics projects. Credit: Scout Labs
  • How can we support people in asserting their belonging
    and ownership?
  • How might the city more accurately value youth
    behavior, ex., playfulness, subversion, indifference, etc.,
    as civic engagement?
  • How are schools practicing civic engagement? How are
    they teaching it?
  • In-person relationship-building is important to demystify who “city government” is
  • High school students and city staff have different expectations and working styles that require scaffolding to ensure meaningful collaboration
  • There is a disconnect between what students are taught via a “civics curriculum” (that is, they are mostly taught about the federal government and about voting once they are 18) and the levers of power for many of their interests (namely, at the local level and separate from the specific silo of elections)
Credit: Scott Muhlstein, Aaron Zaubi

Covid-19 Efforts

Illustration credit: Sabrina Dorsainvil

Summer Fellow Projects

To Our Academic Collaborators

Looking Ahead




The Mayor's Office of New Urban Mechanics is Boston's Civic R&D Lab / Incubator.

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New Urban Mechanics

New Urban Mechanics

The Mayor's Office of New Urban Mechanics is Boston's Civic R&D Lab / Incubator.

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