In 1981, when CIVITAS was founded, August Heckscher, its first chair, hearkened back to the Roman Republic to find a name that would express the spirit of the new community organization. The name chosen, “CIVITAS,” referred to that quality of a citizen that made him deeply involved in the life and fate of his city. Such has been the guiding spirit for CIVITAS ever since.
The mission of CIVITAS is to foster, mobilize and coordinate civic concern in the community of Manhattan’s Upper East Side and East Harlem. To that end, CIVITAS seeks to promote, preserve and protect residential neighborhoods that are lively and livable.