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Category 12

Beauty + Vibrancy

What good is the most sustainable District in the country if it’s not beautiful? Cortex recognizes the need for beauty to enrich, enhance and stimulate our lives.

Ideal Future State

Cortex is a beautiful place that makes me feel happy.

Why Important

Cities are often filled with ugly and inhumane objects that are manufactured and produced with little thought to their appearance.

Objectives / Targets

  • A participatory public art process is established to incorporate art (in all forms: music, sculpture, dance).
  • Art is transparent with a participatory budgeting process to fund the program.
  • Cortex buildings and spaces win design awards for their beauty.
  • Growing number of installations of public art and cultural interpretive installations within the District.
  • Establish training programs matched to district job opportunities on annual basis.
  • Track number of incubators, accelerators, maker spaces, and co-working spaces in the District.
  • Each public space, or place making area obtains natural daylight for some portion of the day throughout the year.


Amount of public art installations; incubators; maker spaces within the District.


No current baseline for such targets.

Future Targets

  • Cortex venues regularly win design awards by 2026
  • A participatory public art program is in operation by 2030
  • A training and pathways art program is in operation by 2040

Immediate Steps

Identify local partners for public art-in-residence program (street gallery or incubator).

Short-Term Steps

Identify 12 key sites within the District for the first round of installations.

Long-Term Steps

Establish a formal public art process with a budget.


This is our opportunity to make the innovation visible and participatory while also adding beauty to the District. This category has no direct financial payback, but if done correctly will be invaluable in attracting and retaining talent.