The Artwork for MpactPhilly

June 11, 2024

2024 Mpact Transit + Community Artwork
Everyone knows Philadelphia is a city rich with history. Conveying history, vitality and movement, the artwork for the 2024 Mpact Transit + Community conference is an invitation to join us in Philadelphia this October. Experience first-hand how the city and region are building on the strengths of diverse communities and reinventing mobility and development for a more thriving future.


Each year, the staff of Mpact works with a team from the host city to select an artist for the conference artwork. The artist chosen for 2024 conference, Mz.Icar, is a Philadelphia-based anonymous art collective comprised primarily of Black women. Their mission is to “upend conventional constructs of gender and race,” recognizing them as “fluid concepts, deeply influenced by the nuances of time, place and context.”


Click the image above to learn more about what’s in it

“‘Bustle’ is an illustration highlighting the dynamic energy of the city of Philadelphia’s transportation methods while paying respect to the land’s indigenous Lenape roots. Through geometric motion studies, it captures the bustling movement of people and vehicles across iconic landmarks like City Hall, The Colored Girls Museum, and the Ben Franklin Bridge. Vibrant earthy tones evoke the city’s ecological harmony, serving as a reminder to acknowledge both its indigenous heritage and the constant flux of urban life.” – Mz.Icar

 Dig Deeper

The artwork invites us to consider history and the people that shape it, from the Lenape people who first called the area home, to City Hall, part of William Penn’s original plan for the city’s center square, to the Colored Girls Museum, celebrating the “ordinary” individuals whose labor and ingenuity have shaped the city and region.

The artists also convey the region’s diversity of transit and mobility options, at a time when many of them are being re-imagined for the future – from the bus network to trolleys to regional rail as well as overall wayfinding for the SEPTA system. The conference will be a chance to see how bicycling networks, safer walking and reinvigorated transit-oriented development are moving forward in the region.

Conference mobile workshops and pre-conference events will offer opportunities to see first-hand some of the places indicated in the artwork – and learn the context.

For example, one mobile workshop focused on the Tacony neighborhood of Philadelphia  will take attendees to new bike paths along the Delaware River. Riverfront North Partnership, a nonprofit partner of the Philadelphia Parks and Recreation Department, has been working since 2003 to reclaim former industrial land alongside the river and to create access for neighborhoods cut off from the river by I-95. Gina Graigo, Community Engagement Manager for Riverfront North, said the organization reached out to the Lenape cultural center in Easton, PA, to see if they would participate in telling the story of “what this land is, what it was.” Read more about the project that ensued, including the Prophecy of the Four Crows, representing the Lenape peoples’ continued presence as caretakers of the Delaware River and surrounding lands.

See you at #MpactPhilly

The artwork also is a perfect fit for a conference that (from its founding as Rail~Volution) has pushed everyone working on transit or development to think about the way a project can further the community’s vision for what it needs and wants to be.

“Rail~Volution [now Mpact Transit + Community] grew out of an effort in Portland, Oregon, to extend our first light rail line. We wanted people to focus not so much on the actual rail line, but on what they wanted to see outside the window, what they wanted their communities to become.” – Earl Blumenauer

Make plans now to be in Philadelphia in October for Mpact Transit + Community 2024. The conference uniquely brings together leaders, practitioners and advocates working at the intersection of transit, land use, mobility and development. For nearly 30 years, the conference has shaped the approach to building more sustainable and equitable transit-oriented communities.
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