Regional and Urban Design Committee

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Who we are

The Regional and Urban Design Committee (RUDC) aims to improve the quality of the regional and urban environment by promoting excellence in design, planning, and public policy in the built environment. This will be achieved through its member and public education, in concert with allied community and professional groups. Join us!

2024 Symposium

The 2024 symposium will be held in Indianapolis, IN in November. Stay tuned for dates and location. Registration will open in July.

2024 Prospectus

RUDC has sponsorship opportunities for its 2024 events. See the 2024 RUDC Prospectus to for an option that fits your firm or company.

2023 RUDC Symposium

The RUDC Symposium, held in Washington, DC October 19-20, covered emerging trends, theories, and technologies that are shaping the future of regional and urban design. Watch the engaging highlight and speaker videos >.

From Cubicles to Community: The City after the office (Part 2)

  • 1.  From Cubicles to Community: The City after the office (Part 2)

    Posted 10-23-2023 06:16 PM

    The RUDC completed an excellent two day Symposium cum Tours on the topic "Cities in Transition. - Designing for a World in Flux" last week in DC.

    The two part article about the city after office I had prepared prior to the symposium. Part 1 was already posted here. I updated the below Part 2 with some of the fresh insights and quotes from the symposium. Thanks to all that made the Symposium possible!  

    From Cubicles to Community: Opportunities for the City. (Part 2)

    In the first part of this article we described the current symbiotic relation of downtown and the office and how high vacancies are hampering downtown. In this part we will show the opportunities for a flourishing city beyond the office."


    "Who gets to tell their story? Access, Power & Point of View"
     Marcel Acosta, National Capital Planning Commission 

    "Tomorrow is temporary " Gia Biagi, former Chicago DOT Director 

    What are the Mega Trends?

    How does the declining attraction of the office cubicle fit into the context of other trends? Futurist Florence Gaub wrote a future report for the European Union and followed a method of "Mega -Trends" and "Catalysts" that I will loosely apply here. Let's find out what trends could provide the seed for a potential success story for the next generation of cities. 

    Here, in nor particular oder, are some mega trends that will shape the city in the coming decades:

    • Downtown living in skinny towers (NYC)
      Photo: Philipsen
      Urbanization and population growth fueled by immigration will continue, but on a slower pace
    • An aging population will resulting in a reduction of available skilled labor force
    • The exploding cost of health care will force healthier mental and physical lifestyles 
    • Inequities have reached a tipping point from whereon they won't be accepted any longer and the cost and scarcity of housing is one of the reasons
    • AI, robots and quantum computers will end much of the work for money as we know it. 
    • Technology will revolutionize transportation including self driving vehicles
    • Climate change will accelerate and force cities to be way more efficient, sustainable and resilient
    • Housing cost out-strips income
    • Shopping from home will continue to increase
    Catalysts that could fuel a lively city
    If you know where you are going it's not interesting to do it. (Frank Gerry, architect in a conversation with Paul Goldberger, architectural critic)
    Embedded in these potentially threatening trends are opportunities and catalysts that can fuel the future city:
    Every problem is an opportunity (from a
    DC planners presentation at an AIA

    • Continued population growth and an influx of younger immigrants will continue to make cities and towns a necessity, simply because it is the most efficient way to organize large amounts of people, is a tested organizational form...


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