C I V I T A S
MISSION - to undertake Aesthetic & Functional Interventions in Public Space.
CIVITAS initiatives include initiating and co-founding Preservation Erie, Innovation Erie, All Aboard Erie, the Made in Erie Marketplace, the Made in Erie Design Lab and ErieCPR. Lisa Austin, the 2004 co-founder of the CIVITAS collaborative, works with with self-taught urban critic Stephen Sonnenberg, organizer Laurel Swartz, and newer members landscape architect Michael Beightol, art historian Lindsey Finlan and architect Adam Trott. Austin co-authored dozens of Considering the City essays for the ErieReader from 2013-2016.
INSPIRATION: John Nolen's Plan for Greater Erie
In celebration of the centennial of Nolen's 1913 Plan for Greater Erie, CIVITAS launched a year-long study of his masterwork to see if this revered designer's suggestions are relevant to 21st century Erieland.
INSPIRATION: The Congress for the New Urbanism
Inspired by the urban vision outlined in the Charter of the Congress for the New Urbanism, we founded CIVITAS (Back to Erie, Inc.) in 2004.
FOUNDER Lisa Austin
Art Teacher. Social Sculptor. Civic Leader and Failed Politician.
Water-Meter Reader. Artist and Self-taught Urban Critic.
Former Director of Hamot Women's Center. Organizer and Reality Checker.