Build America Summit: Opening Remarks and Neglect, Decline and Consequence

Learn about how communities' problems are compounded by a failure to address the needs of public buildings and space.


The Build America Summit engages the expertise of those in the design, development, planning, and public sectors to develop serious recommendations for helping renew our communities, starting with restoring or replacing the buildings that make up the social infrastructure of America’s villages, towns, and cities. The summit covers the need, the challenges, and workable solutions. We provide evidence of the social and economic benefits when communities preserve and enhance the buildings that give so many character.

Opening remarks: Welcome from AIA President, Russell Davidson, FAIA, and a presentation of key AIA public survey findings of public’s expectations on the role and value of public buildings and spaces in their communities by Russell Davidson and Robert Ivy, AIA EVP/Chief Executive Officer.

Neglect, decline, and consequence: A discussion of the failure to address the needs of public buildings and spaces compounds communities’ problems—economic base, civic participation, cost of providing services, affordable housing, social issues of health, education, crime, poverty.Panelists: Dr. Mindy Fullilove, Dr. Richard Jackson, Hon. ASLA, Hon. AIA, Kathryn Madden, AICP, Kevin McQueen, AIA, and Jeff Vincent.

Learning objectives

  • Discuss strategies for how best to make smart decisions related to reinvesting in essential community buildings, including key factors that affect decision making, examples of how architects engage the community, and the important role of civic leaders.
  • Gain insights from peers and experts about what communities should know about the process, timing, and required effort to undertake a successful reinvestment initiative, including exploring political and financial factors that affect decision making, financing options such as public-private partnerships, and the specific role of architects, developers, and civic leaders.
  • Be successful collaborators by understanding key trends affecting reinvestment initiatives, including shifting demographics, citizen/government relationships, data and statistics related to public education and social issues, trends shaping local economies, connection between design and public health, and challenges facing reinvestment in rural communities.
  • Examine a best-practice understanding of the central elements every community needs to deliver on its promise to serve the common good, delving into the role these essential buildings play in creating and strengthening the social fabric, touching on new social sciences research, insights on design trends and the major questions or issues that should inform community conversations about their civic realm.
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1.75 LUs
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