Supporting Local Urban Action

As the devastating impacts of climate change accelerate, persistent gaps in our civic and social infrastructure have widened, limiting the potential of local climate action. CIV:LAB believes in starting in the middle by funding and supporting solutions addressing climate change at the local level. CIV:LAB is rooted in its values — local collaboration, social and climate innovation, and just systems. Our projects embody those standards by encouraging community engagement, championing social justice, and moving communities towards more resilient, sustainable living.

CIV:LAB launched in 2019 in New York City, in partnership with New York City Economic Development Corporation and quickly expanded to Detroit in 2020, working closely with TechTown and Wayne State University. Our work has focused on urban innovation, social justice, and public health, but always with an eye towards improving environmental sustainability and resilience. With the impact of climate change growing more dire each year, we saw that local infrastructure lacked the support necessary to protect local communities. So, we launched Climate Fund I to connect initiatives to support and resources that can have an impact.



Smart Cities New York:

SCNY is North America’s leading global conference for innovators and decision-makers who are improving life in the cities of tomorrow.

BID Data Portal Project:

A data portal to give NYC BIDs access ground-level intelligence about their commercial districts and neighborhoods.

The Grid:

The Grid builds connective tissue between the diverse – and inspired – stakeholders that make urban tech happen in NYC.

Detroit Urban Solutions:

CIV:LAB and TechTown Detroit collaborated to launch Detroit Urban Solutions. By harnessing and leveraging local and global resources, CIV:LAB bolsters Detroit’s tech economy by creating connections in the urban technology ecosystem.

Response Lab:

The “NYC Response Lab” at Cornell Tech is a joint initiative with CIV:LAB and the NYCEDC to identify community-level COVID-19 related problems and to deploy internally-created tech solutions to help New York City people/communities, businesses and agencies recover from the COVID-19 crisis.


Simon Sylvester-Chaudhuri
Founder & Executive Director
Vijayta Rao Narang
Climate Fund Program Manager
Allison Lucas
Chief of Staff and MI:LAB Assistant Director
Alex Bell
Climate Co-Labs Manager
Emily Dabish Yahkind
MI:LAB Advisor
Jay Taparia
Finance Director
Diane Barthélemy
Creative Lead
William Davies
Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning Director
Laura Nuyen
Platform Developer
Liz Sisson
Climate Fund Advisor
Raj Pannu
Senior Creative Advisor
Abby Conger
Senior Creative Advisor
Ahmanni Recchi
Climate Fellow