The American Architectural Foundation (AAF), in association with the Center for Green Schools at the U.S. Green Building Council, hosted the National Green Schools Design Summit March 7–9, 2012, in Washington, D.C. Through the Summit, AAF aimed to educate and inspire local leaders working to create cities and schools capable of sustaining the next generation of Americans.

Participants followed one of two tracks, which ultimately came together on the final day of the Summit. Design workshops allowed four-person teams made up of city and school leaders (mayors, superintendents, and others) to immerse themselves in a green school case study from their communities. Nationally recognized sustainability architects, planners, and education facility designers teamed with them to develop tailor-made solutions. Cities represented included:

Bismarck, ND
Charleston, SC
Philadelphia, PA
Sacramento, CA
Salt Lake City, UT

A second group composed of national thought leaders in education and design convened for a forum exploring the local-level impact of effective partnerships between cities, school districts, national education organizations, and the federal government. National and federal partners including the Department of Education, the White House’s Center for Environmental Quality, and the Coalition for Green Schools provided updates on new thinking and innovative solutions.

Overall, the Summit empowered mayors and superintendents to use design as a tool to improve their communities and support the educational success of students. This event was AAF’s response to the challenge made to participants at USGBC’s Greening of America’s Schools Summit.

The report from the Greening of America’s Schools Summit states: “Few issues facing our society are more urgent than creating schools that are healthy, conducive to learning and sustainable. Yet our schools are often unhealthy and neglected, impairing our children’s learning and undercutting our educational system. Through the greening of America’s schools, we have the chance to improve the health and education of our children, inspire future leaders and create a stronger America. We know the only way forward is together.”

AAF agrees. Forward.

To follow the conversation on Twitter use #GSDS2012. To continue to learn more about AAF’s events, news, and articles, follow us at @AAFDesign.

The National Green Schools Design Summit is presented by the American Architectural Foundation, in association with the Center for Green Schools at the U.S. Green Building Council.

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Posted in: 12 Design Education, Adaptive Reuse, Center for the Advancement of Architecture, Civic Leaders + Government, Community Engagement, Design for Learning, Design Leadership, Great Schools by Design, News, Partnerships, Print, Public Spaces, School Design, Sustainability, Technology
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