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“Spring Into Action” with Kimberly Dowdell and Jamie Gauthier

Thursday, June 20, 2024

Virtual Event


Join AIA Philadelphia for an in person/virtual event. This engaging and insightful discussion featuring two distinguished speakers, Kimberly Dowdell and Jamie Gauthier, as they address the critical question: “How do we create more affordable and sustainable housing opportunities in Philadelphia?” Kimberly Dowdell, the current president of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) and former president of the National Organization of Minority Architects (NOMA), is a leading advocate for equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) in the architectural profession. She will share her vision for the Chief Architect initiative and the pivotal role architects play in shaping equitable, sustainable communities.

Philadelphia City Councilmember Jamie Gauthier, renowned for her dedication to affordable housing and tenant protection, will discuss her initiatives, such as the Built to Last program and efforts to prevent displacement and discrimination against voucher users. With a focus on the city’s goal of creating 30,000 housing units, Gauthier will explore the challenges and opportunities in achieving this target, including funding strategies, comprehensive planning, and the role of transit-oriented development (TOD).

Participants will analyze AIA’s mission and its alignment with Philadelphia’s housing challenges, identify specific local issues such as tax increases and energy burdens, and explore effective solutions from other cities that could be adapted to Philadelphia’s unique context. This program aims to foster a proactive, collaborative approach to ensuring that housing in Philadelphia is both attainable and sustainable, enhancing the quality of life for all residents.

Learning Objectives:

Participants will analyze AIA’s mission and its alignment with the housing challenges in Philadelphia, focusing on how it addresses issues like financing, tax cycles, and community planning.

Participants will identify and evaluate the specific challenges in Philadelphia related to keeping people in their homes, such as increased taxes, energy burden, and issues with existing housing quality.

Participants will explore effective solutions implemented in other cities, such as Toronto’s cooperative housing and Denmark’s approach to private equity, and consider their applicability to Philadelphia.

Participants will learn about proposed, tailored solutions for Philadelphia’s housing challenges, including proactive planning, supporting tenant rights organizations, and integrating transit solutions to improve overall community wellbeing.

Credits: 1.5 AIA LUs (HSW)