COTE AIA|LA’s 2 Degrees Symposium


This month, the Committee on the Environment (COTE) of AIA LA organized and launched 2°C, A COTE AIA|LA Symposium on Climate Change on March 2nd, 2018 at the Department of Water and Power in Downtown Los Angeles. The intention of the symposium was to serve as a unifying platform for the public, the architectural design community, the building industry, universities, policy makers, civic leaders and transportation entities to address the urgent sustainability issues challenging our society today. The symposium’s name is based on the need to keep the global average temperature from rising more than two degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels in hopes of preventing irreversible and damaging climatic changes.

Held on a rainy Friday in early March in Downtown Los Angeles, at the DWP Building designed by AC Martin, 2°C Symposium attracted important institutions from transportation to mayoral offices from the Cities of Los Angeles and Santa Monica. The panels conducted discussion and action plans in front of an audience of over 150 people from architectural, engineering and development firms to students and the general public. Focal points of the 2°C symposium included urban design and development, local to national connectivity, universities’ lead to carbon neutrality, the relationship between sustainable policy and citizen behavior, the positive financial impact for developers creating sustainably designed projects and the power of small changes at the individual level.

“For me, as both an organizer and an attendee, the unifying thread at 2°C through all speakers, no matter their discipline, was a call for architects to take stronger positions and lead clients to identify and implement solutions that reduce climate change” said COTE AIA|LA chair Simone Barth-Auster, Dipl. Ing. Arch., Assoc. AIA, LEED AP BD+C.

“To see major institutions break down the silos of planning and strategy to cross-reference and cross-pollinate their visions for the response to climate change was a highlight and a unique inspiration,” noted COTE AIA|LA committee member James E. Donaldson, AIA, LEED AP BD+C.


The productive outcome of the event was threefold: It provided tools and knowledge transfer for attendees; it gathered disciplines and Los Angeles stakeholders essential to reducing the advance of climate change; and by bringing together policymakers, city representatives and clients, reminded them of the key contributions architects can make in this area. 2°C was born out of our chapter's commitment to advance organizational core values,” said Carlo Caccavale, Executive Director, AIA|LA. “To achieve these goals often requires connecting with a variety of agencies, interests, and individuals in Los Angeles.”

Find more information about the event here: