Communities by Design

 View Only

Community HTML

Quick Links

Who we are

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)

  • 1.  When Suburbs Go to War With Transit

    Posted 02-24-2023 03:45 PM

    When Suburbs Go to War With Transit

    A battle over building a housing development near a Baltimore light rail station illustrates why it's so hard to make viable public transportation in the suburbs. 

    An empty light rail station platform in Baltimore, where development around transit lines has been slow to emerge. 

    Photographer: Five Buck Photos/iStockphoto

    On a recent Wednesday, I stood on the platform of a light rail station in Lutherville, Maryland, about 15 miles north of downtown Baltimore, having a flashback.

    More than three decades ago, I was the architectural project manager for the light rail system that the Maryland Transit Administration was planning for the state's largest metropolitan area. Like several other US cities in that era, Baltimore was hoping that this modern streetcar-like mode could be built cheaper than subways and spur economic development along the route. 

    here: READ FULL ARTICLE on CityLab

    or on my blog

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

  • 2.  RE: When Suburbs Go to War With Transit

    Posted 02-27-2023 05:31 PM


    Great article summing up the continued false angst against transit-centered development - or for that matter any denser development that threatens a long-gone era of white picket fence suburbia.  True story - When my maternal grandfather wanted to sell part of his farm for development of apartments in our fairly rural township outside Detroit in the 70s, the same types of arguments came up.  Eventually apartments were developed, and none of the feared problems ever came to fruition.

    Edmond Gauvreau, FAIA
    Washington, DC