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Urban placemaking: Building equity by design [AIA course]

This AIA CES course is worth 1.0 learning units. 

April 17, 2019 |
Urban placemaking: Building equity by design [AIA course]

The 9.5-acre SteelStacks Art & Cultural Campus, Bethlehem, Pa., designed by WRT. The steel plant employed 31,000 at its height. Photo: Christenson Photography for WRT

The U.S. is in the midst of an urban renaissance. People are returning to cities, sparking new investment and growth. This renewed interest in cities coincides with increasing pressure to address current challenges, including climate change and deteriorating infrastructure, and to repurpose former industrial sites and underused land in older urban centers.

Since 1987, the Rudy Bruner Award for Urban Excellence (RBA) has recognized seminal projects that demonstrate the ability of such developments to integrate ambitious social agendas. Collectively, the RBA awardees illustrate the contributions that design makes to the economic, environmental, and social vitality of cities and provide insight into urban evolution and the impact of thoughtful planning and design.

The RBA process has revealed five common attributes of transformative development in urban placemaking: the role of visionary leadership; the value of collaborative partnerships; the benefits of engaging and empowering communities; the importance of anchoring projects in their unique culture and place; and the return on investment of design excellence.

Two recent RBA medalists illustrate how developers and designers are tackling big urban challenges via investment in “urban infrastructure.” Together, these efforts are helping to create and sustain equitable, healthy, and socio-economically vibrant cities.

Learning Objectives:
Upon completion, participant will be able to:
• Describe examples of urban development that contribute to the economic, environmental, and social vitality of cities.
• Identify common characteristics and lessons learned from exemplary urban projects.
• Describe the role of visionary leadership and collaboration in creating places that promote inclusiveness and equity. 
• Describe how innovative public private partnerships and investment can facilitate access to resources and empower and regenerate communities.




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