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The AIA Housing and Community Development Knowledge Community (HCD) tracks housing issues and develops relationships with industry stakeholders to encourage and promote safe, attractive, accessible, and affordable housing for all Americans.

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Cities in a new age: What policing could look like.

  • 1.  Cities in a new age: What policing could look like.

    Posted 06-15-2020 17:23
    JUN
    12

    Corona has turned the world upside down in less than half of a year. How will things be  next year? The shut-down of almost all travel has led to much local introspection. With many activities on hold, we  see like under a magnifying glass how our society really ticks. This gave the George Floyd death such momentum. In a series of investigations I will ask today how the US polices its communities. It has long been a topic, but it has come back with unprecedented urgency. Never before have I seen this nation look at its problems in this unflinching manner. 
    "In recognizing the humanity in our fellow beings, we pay ourselves the highest tribute." (Thurgood Marshall, inscription on the steps of the Western Police Station in West Baltimore) 
    The ultimate militarization of  police: June 1 on 16th Street in DC
    In the late 1980s, when there was much talk about "community policing", I had lived only a short time in America when I looked down from the conference room an architecture office in downtown Baltimore because I heard a women screaming. She was, it turned out, berating a tow truck driver who had just hitched her car to his truck. When she kept insisting to get her car back he called "Baltimore's finest" who after some back and forth escalated the situation by laying hand on the woman, putting....

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    [Klaus] Philipsen FAIA
    Archplan Inc. Philipsen Architects
    Baltimore MD
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  • 2.  RE: Cities in a new age: What policing could look like.

    Posted 06-16-2020 17:30
    Well-stated. Other than participating in community activities that all residents join in, what can architect do as architects? The Baltimore Community Police Station was one example.

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    Judith Wasserman AIA
    Bressack & Wasserman
    Palo Alto CA
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  • 3.  RE: Cities in a new age: What policing could look like.

    Posted 06-18-2020 11:02
    Architects can do the following:
    1. Speak at elementary, middle, and high schools on career day.
    2. Commit to sponsorship of black youth in STEAM programs and camps.
    3. Serve of community boards in black Communities.
    4. Take a very public stance supporting Black Lives Matter.
    5. Speak up every time you see or hear racism
    6. Be brave. Practice courage. Do the hard work. Help black people live.


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    R. Everson Assoc. AIA, LEED AP
    Washington DC
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  • 4.  RE: Cities in a new age: What policing could look like.

    Posted 06-18-2020 23:31
    Edited by Tiffany Wan 06-18-2020 23:32
    Denise -

    Such great advice!

    I'd love to hear from others with specific examples of ways they are responding.

    In solidarity, TW

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    Tiffany Wan
    Dorgan Architecture & Planning
    Storrs CT
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  • 5.  RE: Cities in a new age: What policing could look like.

    Posted 06-18-2020 23:50
    Tiff,Tell Kathy "hey" for me.

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    R. Everson Assoc. AIA, LEED AP
    Washington DC
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  • 6.  RE: Cities in a new age: What policing could look like.

    Posted 06-19-2020 06:00

    The issue of public safety and policing intersects in many ways with design, architecture and planning. 


    Crime Prevention
    Through Environmental Design was an early strategy which made architects aware of the design implications on crime and policing as seen from the angle of the police. 

    Urban planning often includes elements of control and potentially oppression. 
    Unfortunately there is a history of design of exclusion which often happens unintentionally, sometimes intentionally.

    To achieve an equitable and safe urban environment with democratic public spaces requires constant vigilance and awareness on the side of architects and planners. 


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    [Klaus] Philipsen FAIA
    Archplan Inc. Philipsen Architects
    Baltimore MD
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  • 7.  RE: Cities in a new age: What policing could look like.

    Posted 06-19-2020 10:26
    Thank you, Klaus!

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    Judith Wasserman AIA
    Bressack & Wasserman
    Palo Alto CA
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  • 8.  RE: Cities in a new age: What policing could look like.

    Posted 06-24-2020 05:55
    Judith
    Bryan Lee's article in CityLab on design and justice is a good read. At the end he lists some next steps for architects to begin to take action to dismantle and change current systems toward a more just focus.

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-06-03/how-to-design-justice-into-america-s-cities

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    Katherine Williams AIA
    Fifth Generation Holdings
    Falls Church VA
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  • 9.  RE: Cities in a new age: What policing could look like.

    Posted 06-25-2020 17:43
    This is a good article with a lot to unpack and a lot to get past my preconceived ideas. Very thoughtful and I will be giving it more thought as I read through it again.

    Robert C. Foss, AIA
    Clement Foss Architects




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  • 10.  RE: Cities in a new age: What policing could look like.

    Posted 06-25-2020 17:49
    There was an old slogan - and you can tell how old by the language - that said, "Urban renewal is Negro removal". This is a very old story, indeed.

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    Judith Wasserman AIA
    Bressack & Wasserman
    Palo Alto CA
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  • 11.  RE: Cities in a new age: What policing could look like.

    Posted 06-25-2020 21:29

    I live in Atlanta and my best clients have brown and black skin, I live in an in-town neighborhood and am active in community meetings which includes Public Safety with police officers.  I am in the unique position of being a female architect, knowing and interacting with people of all skin tones  as well as police officers. I know a % of the solution is looking structurally at a deeper level-- like looking at an engineer's description of a steel beam but understanding at a deeper level how the atoms move close and work together making the beam strong, than say a beam of carbon dioxide.
    Other countries like the UK and Australia do not have this culturally embedded problem: https://www.cnn.com/2020/06/08/us/us-police-floyd-protests-country-comparisons-intl/index.html and both these countries do not allow the citizens guns. Our police officers are paranoid of getting shot, which I would be too if I were an officer. This makes them militant and war-like instead of being the kindly people we want them to be. These guys are not saints, and neither would anyone be, living in a culture with abundant guns being pointed at them.
    This problem is not going away unless the underlying structural problems are acknowledged, which in the USA is not going away anytime soon. Although we have people of all ages trying really hard to be inclusive, the next incident won't be long in coming, the underlying cultural structure of guns in the USA is too strong.



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    Frances Hamilton
    AIA LEED AP BD+C
    Residential/Commercial Architect
    HAstudio
    Atlanta Georgia
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  • 12.  RE: Cities in a new age: What policing could look like.

    Posted 06-26-2020 18:52
    The redlining policies of segregation, gated communities, racially tinged HOA and subdivision agreements have to be acknowledged. Having mixed neighborhoods of all races, creeds and color is, in my view, the only way to deconstruct the obvious racist policies of the past. Will it work, can it work, has it worked elsewhere, or is our inherent flaws as humans such that we are incapable of addressing our fears and moving to an enlightened state?

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    Vincent Oles
    Architect/Owner
    Vincent Oles Architect AIA, llc.
    Atascadero CA
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