Able City is an integrated architecture, planning, and economic development firm started in Texas. Able City provides strategic services for an engaged city at the intersection of local government with civic engagement; planning and policy; economic development; and design of and in the build environment.

Purpose

Able City is the evolving result of one firm’s re-imagined reason-for-being within the profession of architecture. It is re-built on the foundation of the principle of “shared value,” that is: creating economic value in a way that also creates value for society by addressing its needs and challenges.

The most pressing need for cities is to be more responsive to the aspirations of their citizens. Because cities are built by policy long before a social program is instituted or a project is commissioned and built, the challenge cities face is the institutionalizing of collaborative civic engagement. As such, the company’s highest purpose is to advance the potential of cities to be able to deliver a better quality of life and place, inclusively with its citizens, through design and strategic services for an engaged city.

Viviana Frank

Viviana Frank

Co-founder, Able City

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We believe it is vital to state clearly to the world the set of our beliefs about Inclusive Capitalism. As such, we start with our Statement of Guiding Principles for Inclusive Capitalism. Knowing that words alone are not enough, each of us is making a series of commitments about how we will operate our institutions so that they help achieve Inclusive Capitalism. These commitments are forward-looking statements based on current goals, expectations and assumptions, which are not guarantees of future performance. For more information, please refer to our Terms of Use

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Summary

Able City commits to designing for carbon neutrality in all new construction and major renovation projects by 2030.

Objectives

Advance a low-carbon economy through sustainable and forward-thinking building practices.

Metrics & Targets

By 2030, all Able City’s new buildings and major renovations will design for carbon-neutrality, in accordance with Zero Code and Architecture 2030.

SDG Focus Area(s):

Summary

Able City will dedicate 200 hours annually toward legislative advocacy on causes pertaining to the UN’s Sustainable Development goals at the local, state, and federal level.

Objectives

Empower our employees to become city-makers, affording them the time and expertise to affect policy in the areas closest to their communities.

Metrics & Targets

Able City will dedicate 200 hours annually toward legislative advocacy at the local, state, and federal level.  Employees will be encouraged to leverage their professional experience in urban planning and architecture to offer informed and sustained advocacy on issues pertaining to the built environment. Hours will be measured via employee performance evaluations, where the company hopes to center city-making as a key indicator of professional development and advancement.

SDG Focus Area(s):

Summary

Able City will dedicate a minimum of 350 hours on an annual basis to the development of advocacy engagement tools with its non-profit affiliate, CityMakery, to enhance participation and collaboration with local governments.

Objectives

Channel civic engagement efforts into robust, consistent support of Able City's existing city-making non-profit.

Metrics & Targets

Able City will dedicate 30 hours per month, or the financial equivalent, into the development of robust advocacy engagement tools with its non-profit affiliate, CityMakery. 

Included in this partnership, Able City and CityMakery will commit to working with local food sustainability advocates and with local governments to, by the end of 2022, propose a firm policy, funding mechanisms, and governance for a sustainable Food Forest on public land. The program will be followed at the local government level, and a key performance indicator will be how advocates will keep engaged longterm. During the development we will answer the question: Is this a city service or potential cooperative? The purpose of the commitment is economic development within the local food system. 

SDG Focus Area(s):

Summary

By 2025, Able City will train 100% of architectural and planning associates to perform life cycle analysis on all projects; employees will be expected to educate and persuade clients to adhere to a high standard of climate stewardship.

Objectives

Systematize education and advocacy around climate change.

Metrics & Targets

By 2025, Able City will train 100% of architectural and planning associates to perform life cycle analysis on all projects; employees will be expected to educate and persuade clients to adhere to a high standard of climate measures. A packet will be developed in 2021 to help employees make effective structural and economic arguments to other industry professionals and clients, focusing on schools and commercial developers.

SDG Focus Area(s):

Summary

Able City will reduce carbon emissions by instituting a 20% work-from-home allowance to reduce commute- and office-related greenhouse gas emissions. The policy will be effective upon the reopening of the office in 2021.

Objectives

Reduce carbon emissions through policies that reflect greater flexibility.

Metrics & Targets

Change company policy to reflect 20% work-from-home, effective as of 2021.

SDG Focus Area(s):

Summary

Able City, effective in 2022, will partially subsidize the cost of mass transit to reduce total automobile greenhouse gas emissions. Employees whose commute consists of 75% mass transit will qualify for a subsidy of $300.

Objectives

Reduce greenhouse gas emissions by incentivizing alternative modes of transportation.

Metrics & Targets

Offer a subsidy of $300, effective in 2022, to encourage alternative modes of transportation.

SDG Focus Area(s):

Summary

Able City will support the community by inaugurating a three-week paid fellowship in 2022. Fellows will be freshmen and sophomores at local community colleges; no previous experience required. Underrepresented groups will be encouraged to apply.

Objectives

Promote community engagement and inclusivity in architecture and planning by offering a fellowship experience that allows students to apprentice in an area of their choice. The fellowship will include advocacy training.

Metrics & Targets

Launch a three-week paid fellowship in 2022 to offer college freshmen and sophomores from underrepresented backgrounds an introduction to architecture and urban planning. BIPOC and low-income candidates will be encouraged to apply.

 

SDG Focus Area(s):

Summary

Able City will develop a fund in 2022 to cover dues for values-aligned leadership positions in community or industry organizations. Recipients are expected to include important information on the community calendar and make relevant announcements.

Objectives

Encourage active participation and leadership to  advance our mission and values through partnership and affiliations.

Metrics & Targets

Institute a fund to cover dues for one company values-aligned leadership position in a community or industry organization. Recipients are expected to include important information on the community calendar and make relevant announcements at staff meetings.

SDG Focus Area(s):

Summary

Able City will reduce carbon transport emissions by beginning to specify products sourced within 500 miles when available. Over the next two years, Able City will work with sub-consultants to prioritize and incentivize sustainable design choices.

Objectives

Reduce carbon transport emissions by specifying products as close to the site as possible.

Metrics & Targets

By 2023, Able City will only specify products sourced within 500 miles when available.

SDG Focus Area(s):

Summary

Able City will commit to planting 125 native trees over five years, targeting to sequester a minimum of 125 tonnes of carbon dioxide over forty years.

Objectives

Serve the natural environment by planting more trees and fostering a culture of environmental stewardship.

Metrics & Targets

Able City will commit to planting 125 native trees over five years, targeting to sequester a minimum of 125 tonnes of carbon dioxide over forty years.

SDG Focus Area(s):

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Recognizing it will take alignment of all our organizations to scale impact globally, we invite you to join the movement as a Steward of Inclusive Capitalism. Together, the collective action of Council members will contribute to a fairer, more inclusive and sustainable future for all people and our planet.