For 200+ years, Citi Group has been on a mission to drive economic growth and progress for clients, firms, and communities. Citi Ventures, the bank’s VC and incubator arm, invests in and develops solutions to tackle growth challenges at the macro level. One strategic priority for the group is lessening the disparity in development between cities in the US, and between neighborhoods within cities. We worked with the group to design City Builder, a data-informed urban economic development platform that provides deep insight into the needs of each community to build more equitable, resilient cities.
Best of Urban Design, Honorable Mention
TOP Challenge Winner, Building Thriving Communities
City Builder surfaces neighborhood-level insights to give investors, municipalities and regional organizations the data they need to make better decisions to improve communities. The platform centralizes population demographics, climate trends, real estate trends, walkability, education/medical/food access, employment trends and more from all 84,000+ US census tracts into one easy to use platform. It simplifies the previously tedious task of gathering all this data to evaluate a potential investment or development.
We employed an iterative design approach and several rounds of research to understand the diverse needs of each audience, including:
We joined the City Builder team in interviewing over 100 potential users of the platform to understand how they conduct research now and uncovered a patchwork process riddled with data gaps and manual data collection.
A series of task-based wireframes were created for each of the core user audiences and used to validate how City Builder could streamline the research process for each of the key audiences. We used this as a stimulus in research and identified several key takeaways:
We iterated on towards high fidelity, refining key parts of the navigation to make searching and filtering front and center, adding in context explanation to explain industry jargon, and adding additional data types.
The progressive mobile web app gives you full access to City Builder from your mobile device, via browser or as a home screen shortcut.
City Builder is now a go-to data source helping investors, developers and NGOs make a positive impact on communities in the US. It has since expanded to several other countries including parts of Italy, Jordan and Togo. City Builder was recognized by Fast Company’s Best of Urban Design awards in 2020, and won the US Census Bureau’s T.O.P. Prize Challenge for its impact in the Building Thriving Communities category.
Fast Company Best of Urban Design, Honorable Mention, 2020
US Census Bureau
T.O.P. Prize Challenge Winner