Sustainable Cities Design Academy 10 Recap

The Sustainable Cities Design Academy in Washington, DC marked American Architectural Foundation’s 10th collaborative charrette engagement with public-private partnerships throughout the U.S.

On the first day of Sustainable Cities Design Academy 10, resource team and project team members from Denver, Greensboro, N.C., Los Angeles, and Tucson learned about one another—Pecha Kucha style. After introductions, the work began when resource members went with their respective project teams to break-out rooms to tackle key urban design issues including:

•    Transit Oriented Development plans for the 40th / Colorado stop in Denver
•    Unified arts, land use, and economic development plan in Greenbsoro, N.C.
•    Regional energy efficiency and planning strategies in Los Angeles
•    Transit system connectivity, planning, and marketing challenges in Tucson

After collaborating and brainstorming, the two-day charrette closed with final presentations by the four teams. The SCDA 10 Final Report will be out soon with more details and information about the projects and participants. We’ve captured some of the hard work as well as the enjoyable moments in the photo essay below.

AAF thanks all of our friends and partners in the DC region for helping to make this event a success, especially our sponsor United Technologies Corporation. The next Sustainable Cities Design Academy will take place September 9-10 in Washington, DC.

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Posted in: AAF Culture, Center for Design & the City, Civic Leaders + Government, Community Engagement, Design Leadership, Partnerships, Print, Sustainability, Sustainable Cities Design Academy

The American Architectural Foundation has been dedicated to advancing the role of architecture and design in American society since its founding in 1943 by the American Institute of Architects.

In its 75 years in existence the Foundation’s work has taken many forms — from educational programming and exhibitions in its early years to large-scale design initiatives and programs —all of which serve to create a rich legacy.

As the managing partner of the Mayors’ Institute on City Design for twenty years, in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts and the United States Conference of Mayors, the Foundation helped move the needle on design and cities. And, through its other signature programs like Save America’s Treasures in partnership with National Parks Service, the Sustainable Cities Design Academy, and Design for Learning, the Foundation has provided critical design leadership training and technical assistance to hundreds of elected officials, education leaders, business leaders, and other key decision makers in the design process.

In recent years, cities and civic leaders have embraced design and design thinking in a way that could not have been imagined when the Foundation begin its work back in 1943 — and AAF’s role in this transformation is a source of great pride for the Foundation. With this increased interest in the role of design in shaping our cities came a proliferation of new organizations to support and facilitate this cultural shift. These advances in the role of design in American society and changes in the nonprofit design sector, coupled with the departure of the organization’s longest-serving CEO, prompted the Foundation’s Board to embark on an intensive and lengthy process to examine the ongoing role and work of the Foundation.

As the Board of Regents reflected on the positive changes of the cultural value of design, the accomplishments of the Foundation, and how the legacy of the Foundation’s work is being carried out by its former staff in new roles and organizations across the country, they reached the conclusion that the American Architectural Foundation had accomplished what it set out to do. As a result, the Foundation began to complete its remaining programs and wind down its operations in the Summer of 2018 and the organization’s endowments have been distributed to allied organizations. The Foundation’s research and reports will remain available on its website as a resource to the field.

The Foundation’s work would not have been possible without the incredible talents of its many staff over the decades, the generous support of its funders, and the tireless dedication of its civic & design partners across the country. The Board remains deeply proud of the significant contributions Foundation has made in its 75-year history and would like to acknowledge that this would not have been possible without the efforts, dedication, and support from so many of you.