Contact: John Schneidawind
For immediate release:
Bridgeport, CT – September 10, 2010 – A team of national experts assembled by the American Institute of Architects (AIA) will conduct a community-wide planning event on the future of Bridgeport, Connecticut from September 13-15, 2010. The team will participate in tours of the city, public workshops and focus groups to solicit the input of citizens and stakeholders. The team will also take part in a series of “design studios” that will culminate in a public presentation to the community on September 15th highlighting a series of key recommendations and strategies for the city.
The project is a public service of the American Institute of Architects’ Center for Communities by Design. Through the Center’s Sustainable Design Assessment Team (SDAT) program, a multidisciplinary team of national experts will be providing pro bono services for the event.
“Our team includes experts in a variety of disciplines that have decades of experience working with thousands of citizens in a range of communities across the country,” said Joel Mills, Director of the Center for Communities by Design. “Because they are legitimate ‘outsiders’ who serve pro bono, they are able to listen to community input and provide objective professional expertise free from any hidden agendas or political context. The result in many communities is the development of recommendations that have enhanced credibility with local stakeholders, as well as momentum for partnerships and implementation.”
The collaborative SDAT program brings together architects and other professionals assembled from across the country to provide a roadmap for communities seeking to improve their sustainability – as defined by a community’s ability to meet the environmental, economic, and social equity needs of today without reducing the ability of future generations to meet their needs.
“Bridgeport presents a unique combination of opportunities surrounding transit, housing, and environmental remediation,” Mills said.” After years of neglect, a new generation of leadership is emerging to guide the city toward a more sustainable future.”
“We are extremely pleased and proud to have been chosen for this prestigious program,” Bridgeport Mayor Bill Finch stated. “This is another step forward in making Bridgeport a cleaner and greener city. My hope is that at the end of the three days we will have a blueprint that will enable us to link our diverse neighborhoods by utilizing environmentally-friendly green design.
The team will focus on a series of key issues facing Bridgeport, including housing, transit-oriented development, neighborhood revitalization, environmental remediation and redevelopment, transportation and connectivity, and collaborative governance models. The Center is collaborating on this project with the City of Bridgeport and a host of local partner institutions and organizations.
Through the Center for Communities by Design, the AIA has conducted design assistance public service projects across the country. Its programming has leveraged millions of dollars in pro bono public service work and engaged thousands of participants in community-driven planning processes that address urban design and sustainability issues. Through the Design Assistance Team programs, over 500 professionals from 30 disciplines have provided millions of dollars in professional pro bono services to more than 180 communities across the country. For additional information on the individual team members, please find the team roster attached. For event schedule information, consult the attached schedule.
About The American Institute of Architects
With nearly 300 state and local chapters and over 80,000 members, the American Institute of Architects serves as the voice of the architecture profession and the resource for its members in service to society. For over 150 years, members of the American Institute of Architects have worked with each other and their communities to create more valuable, healthy, secure, and sustainable buildings and cityscapes. By using sustainable design practices, materials, and techniques, AIA architects are uniquely poised to provide the leadership and guidance needed to provide solutions to address climate change. Visit www.aia.org
WHAT: Bridgeport, CT: Sustainable Visions-Linking Neighborhoods, Building a City
WHEN: Following meetings are free and open to the public:
September 13-15, 2010 City Hall Annex, 999 Broad Street Bridgeport CT 06604
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm September 13, 2010 Town Hall Meeting
7:00 pm – 9:00 pm September 14, 2010 Working Sessions
6:30 pm – 8:30 pm September 15, 2010 Final Presentation Klein Auditorium