Communities by Design

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Communities all over the world are struggling to build effective strategies to address their key challenges, from climate change and equity to housing and revitalization. In response, the Communities by Design program brings together architects and other professional disciplines to work alongside the residents, professionals and institutions of host communities on key local issues. Every project is community-driven and includes meaningful public participation in an intensive process to match professional expertise with public values and aspirations for a place. 

Communities by Design is a program of the Architect's Foundation, the philanthropic partner of The American Institute of Architects (AIA)

Can only growing cities prosper?

  • 1.  Can only growing cities prosper?

    Posted 06-01-2023 08:20 AM

    Can Only Growing Cities Prosper?

     No matter how much unfettered growth is blamed for its impact on the climate, there is no doubt that growing cities do much better than their shrinking peers.

    Toronto waterfront (Photo: Philipsen)

    My shrinking hometown of Baltimore is continually a source of concern. So many problems are rooted in the conundrum that the fixed and aging infrastructure of the legacy city  has to be maintained by an ever shrinking pool of residents that have to foot the bills. The sky high local property taxes, the empty houses and the crumbling streets and bridges set in motion a downward spiral, deterring people coming to town and motivating existing residents to leave. 

    Recent trips to Rotterdam and Toronto leave me green with envy. Toronto is growing somewhere between 80,000 or 130,000 residents per year and is said to boast the most cranes anywhere in North America, even more than Austin, Vancouver or Phoenix. The surge in population not only flushes funds into city coffers, but also provides a pipeline of talent not only for private enterprises but also for government agencies that have to manage the growth. This type of influx stimulates creativity, experimentation and creative design in planning and architecture. In my visits to Rotterdam and Toronto I was taken aback by the spirit of "can-do" optimism and the scale of projects those cities are undertaking to cope with their growth.

    Baltimore waterfront (Photo: Philipsen)

    The steady influx of new people shields these cities effectively from the issues that keep mayors of less fortunate cities awake at night...READ FULL ARTICLE HERE

    [Klaus] Philipsen FAIA
    Archplan Inc. Philipsen Architects
    Baltimore MD