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Mariela Alfonzo

Data-driven citymaking: Using evidence-based design to reclaim our streets

State of Place is a unique blend of Jan Gehl's passion for the life between buildings and Spacemaker's AI-technology. Dr. Mariela Alfonzo, CEO and co-founder of State of Place, is a placeoholic with 20 years of experience in the nexus between urban design, behavior, and the triple bottom line. Bridging the gap between academia and practice, Dr. Alfonzo is also a Research Professor at NYU, a Fulbright Scholar, and one of Urban Land Institute's 40 under 40 best young land use professionals around the globe.


Growing up in the place-less, car-dominated Miami suburbs, Mariela embarked on an unrelenting mission to advocate for great places by quantifying their value over two decades ago. State of Place, the ultimate manifestation of that passion, is a predictive analytics software that quantifies what people love about cities and automatically recommends the best ways to make them better for people, the planet, and profits. They help citymakers make the data-driven case for their placemaking visions so they can get funding, approvals, and buy-in quickly and affordably. But Mariela – and State of Place's - vision is to fundamentally disrupt the ideologically-based, expert-driven approach to citymaking accessible only to a few, and usher in an evidence-based data-driven one, accessible to the many so that we can create awesome places people love, all over the world. State of Place isn't just "Moneyballing" city-making, they are leveling the playing field.