Jennifer Pahlka Receives the Kevin Lynch Award

Jennifer Pahlka and Code for America. [Photos courtesy of Code for America]

Jennifer Pahlka, founder of Code for America, has received the MIT School of Architecture + Planning’s 2013-2014 Kevin Lynch Award. The award is presented biannually for outstanding scholarship and practice in urban design, planning and landscape design.

Pahlka founded Code for America in 2009 to connect city governments with the innovative and creative skills of technology and web-industry professionals. Since 2011, Code for America has been partnering web developers and designers with local governments to create open-source applications that help solve pressing urban problems. The apps, such as LocalData, a platform that creates new and more effective avenues for community participation, are open source — allowing them to be easily adapted by other cities.

Pahlka is currently on leave from Code for America while she serves as the United States Deputy Chief Technology Officer for government innovation.

The Lynch award was established in 1988 to honor the memory of Kevin Lynch, an MIT alumnus, urban designer, author and 30-year faculty member in MIT’s Department of Urban Studies and Planning. Conferred to individuals or organizations whose work embodies and advances Kevin Lynch’s research, nominees are selected for their plans, books, research, designed projects, media productions, public processes or similar contributions.

The award will be presented on Thursday, February 6, 2014, at a special event in the new Media Lab at MIT. For additional information on the award and the upcoming event, see

Places is grateful for the support of a network of academic partners, all of which provide funding and advice. News items are provided by the partners.