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  • The Future of Cities

The Future of Cities

6 Courses 5.00
$150
Architect$150

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$230

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Description

Our society is undergoing a profound transformation. By mid-century, an estimated two-thirds of our global population – 6 billion people - will live in cities. Global population growth and urbanization are putting enormous stress on our civilization, fueling a host of cascading crises from climate change to housing, health to inequality. Despite the unprecedented challenges facing us, cities are uniquely positioned to serve as the hub of a global strategy to address our current crises. This series will focus on a number of key themes facing the future of our cities, offering provocative ideas about how we conceptualize our collective future and the role of design leadership in achieving global goals. Hosted by Communities by Design (CxD), a program of the Architects Foundation

This series is intended for civic leaders, architects, and other design professionals looking to make a difference in their community.

Series expires 12/17/2025

Learning Objectives

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Understand how the introduction of innovative technology will change urban design.

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Describe the economic, environmental, and equity benefits to decarbonizing cities. 

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Explain the guiding principles and methodology that Design Assistance Teams employ to help communities reach more equitable and sustainable outcomes.   

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Apply lessons learned from community leaders working on the frontlines of anti-displacement and equitable development initiatives. 

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Instructors
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AIA

Nico is a Professor of Architecture and Urban Design at the University of Oregon where he is the Director of the Urbanism Next Center and Co-Director of the Sustainable Cities Institute. Urbanism Next is focused on how technological advances such as new mobility, autonomous vehicles, e-commerce and the sharing economy are changing city form and development. Prof. Larco assists cities and projects with future-proofing, has run workshops and charrettes nationally and internationally on this topic, and is currently coordinating work in this area with various municipal and state agencies across North America and in Europe. Prof. Larco also researches sustainable urban design, has developed the Sustainable Urban Design Framework and assists projects in how best to apply these principles and approaches. His work has been covered by Wired, the New York Times, Forbes, the Financial Times of London, and Newsweek. Prof. Larco is a Principal at Larco/Knudson, an urban design consulting firm, and a Strategic Advisor at TNO, a Dutch thinktank. 

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Joel Mills is Senior Director of the American Institute of Architects’ Center for Communities by Design. The Center is a leading provider of pro bono technical assistance and democratic design for community success. Its programs have catalyzed billions of dollars in sustainable development across the United States, helping to create some of the most vibrant places in America today. The Center’s design assistance process has been recognized with numerous awards and has been replicated and adapted across the world. Joel’s 27-year career has been focused on strengthening civic capacity, public processes and civic institutions. This work has helped millions of people participate in democratic processes, visioning efforts, and community planning initiatives. He has delivered presentations, training content, workshops and public processes in over a dozen countries across 5 continents. In the United States, Joel has provided consultative services to hundreds of communities, leading participatory processes on the ground in over 85 communities across 35 states. His work has been featured in over 1,000 media stories. Joel has served on dozens of expert working groups, boards, juries, and panels focused on civic discourse and participation, sustainability, and democracy. He was a founding Board Member of the International Association for Public Participation’s United States Chapter. He has spoken at numerous international conferences concerning democratic urbanism and the role of democracy in urban success, including serving as the Co-Convener of the Remaking Cities Congress in 2013. Joel is an Academician of the Academy of Urbanism in London, UK. He is the author of numerous articles on the relationship between democracy, civic capacity and community.

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Throughout his career, Jamal has had the privilege to work on various topics that have had consequential and positive effects on vulnerable populations. His work as a researcher and consultant has focused on the evaluation of systemic inequities within our economic system as well as the development of decarbonization roadmaps. Jamal as leaned on data-driven and geospatial research techniques to gain a more complete understanding of research questions and to inform actionable insights.

Jamal is serving as the Senior Officer - Analytics and Impact at the San Diego Regional Policy & Innovation Center, responsible for identifying opportunities for sectoral and cross-sector innovation and improved economic, environmental and social impact, especially for vulnerable and underserved populations. He has recently embarked on a PhD, with his research focusing on the areas of energy poverty, residential building weatherization, and decarbonization in the built environment.

Previously, Jamal has worked with fortune 100 companies on their decarbonization journey. This work focused on Scope 1, 2 and 3 GHG accounting and reduction levers, including: Net-Zero Science Based Targets; mobility TCO and emission optimization; carbon capture, storage and utilization market analysis; and carbon offset strategy.

Other past experiences include producing quantitative research and strategic briefings at Hanover Research, overseeing research and policy recommendations for the San Diego Workforce Partnership, and leading Veridian Analytics. Jamal has a Master's degree in Econometrics and Quantitative Economics from the University of California, San Diego.

Jamal strongly believes that it is incumbent on all of humanity to find viable solutions to this climate crisis. His enthusiasm towards innovative, market-based solutions to combatting climate change is only surpassed by his commitment to an equitable green transition.

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Dr. Luis Aguirre-Torres is currently leading work at Rewiring America, a leading electrification nonprofit focused on electrifying everything in our communities. He is also co-chair of the New York State Climate Impacts Assessment, Society and Economy. He was formerly the Director of Sustainability for the City of Ithaca, N.Y., where he established and led the city’s decarbonization and climate justice strategies. Prior to joining the City of Ithaca, he was the President and CEO of GreenMomentum, a think tank organization focused on climate change and renewable energy in Latin America. He is the former chairman of the Latin American and Caribbean Council on Renewable Energy and former energy chair of the Mexico-US Entrepreneurship and Innovation Council. He holds a first degree in computer engineering from Mexico’s National University, a master’s in computer science and a Ph.D. in electronic and electrical engineering from University College London.

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Erin Simmons is the Senior Director of Design Assistance at the Center for Communities by Design at the AIA in Washington, DC. The Center is a provider of pro bono technical assistance and participatory planning for community revitalization. Through its design assistance programs, the AIA has worked in over 250 communities and has been the recipient of numerous awards including “Organization of the Year” by the International Association for Public Participation (IAP2) and the “Outstanding Program Award” from the Community Development Society. Erin is a leading practitioner of the design assistance process, providing expertise, facilitation, and support for the Center’s Design Assistance Team programs. In this capacity, she works with AIA components, members, partner organizations and community leaders to provide technical design assistance to communities across the world. Her portfolio includes work in over 100 communities across the United States and internationally. Erin is an Academician of the Academy of Urbanism in London, UK. Prior to joining the AIA, Erin worked as historic preservationist and architectural historian for an environmental and engineering firm, where she practiced preservation planning, created historic district design guidelines and zoning ordinances, and conducted historic resource surveys. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in History from Florida State University and a Master’s degree in Historic Preservation from the University of Georgia.

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FAIA, LEED AP

Michael is a practicing architect and an advocate for sustainable public policy. He was 2013 President of the Boston Society of Architects and 2015-2016 Chair of the Board of Trustees of the BSA Foundation. For the American Institute of Architects, Mike currently serves as Advocacy ambassador for the National AIA Committee on the Environment and as a newly appointed member of the AIA Board Government Advocacy Committee. He participated on a national AIA Materials Knowledge and Transparency working group and was a contributing author for an April 2016 AIA sustainability white paper, "Materials Transparency and Risk for Architects”. Mike has participated on or led AIA Sustainable Design Assessment Team (SDAT) and Sustainable Design for Resilience Team (DART) charrettes in Ithaca, NY, DeKalb County, GA, Augusta, GA, Tremonton, UT, St. Helens, OR, Louisville, KY, and Bath, ME, as well as the AIA’s first International R/UDAT charrette in Dublin, Ireland. Mike’s recent professional projects include a modular student residence hall at Endicott College, a LEED Certified facility for Hosteling International Boston in an adaptively-reused historic building, and a deep-energy retrofit of public housing units for the Boston Housing Authority at the Cathedral Family Development, which achieved LEED Platinum certification. He blogs about his firm’s work as signatory to the AIA 2030 Commitment. Mr. Davis advised the Boston Planning and Development Agency as a Member and Chair of the Boston Civic Design Commission from 1996 to 2018 and served on Boston Mayor Thomas Menino's Green Building Task Force and Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick’s Net Zero Energy Building Taskforce. He holds a bachelor's degree in Architecture from the Pennsylvania State University and a Master of Architecture from Yale University

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Taryn Sabia’s fifteen-year career in architecture and urban design is anchored by a passion to involve citizens in actively shaping the built environment. Her diverse background in architecture, urban design, education, and community engagement has provided a deep understanding of the importance of context-based design, mobility, resiliency, and culture of place, and how these elements inform the design of an urban framework. Ms. Sabia is Director of the Florida Center for Community Design and Research (FCCDR) at the University of South Florida’s School of Architecture and Community Design. As a Research Associate Professor, she teaches graduate courses and studios on urban design policy, climate change and sustainability, urban form, urban transportation systems, and citizen involvement in urbanism. Her research is committed to the merging of design and civics, with a focus on climate change adaptation, transit modes and public space. She has extensive experience building partnerships between community members, organizations, and government leaders, Ms. Sabia has served as a Principle Investigator on more than 25 projects and advised numerous elected officials including 39 mayors. Ms. Sabia is a co-founder of the Tampa based non-profit, urban design collaborative, Urban Charrette, Inc. The organization is dedicated to educating community leaders and young professionals about sustainable urban design and empowering citizens to make their neighborhoods and cities better places to live. She has worked professionally in the field of architecture, facilitated over 150 public charrettes and workshops and has authored several articles about community engagement and urban design including a publication in the National Civic Review. In 2014 and 2017, Ms. Sabia led the East Regional Session Mayor’s Institute for City Design program. She has presented numerous times at national and regional conferences and has served as Chair for the American Institute of Architects’ Regional and Urban Design Leadership Group leading initiatives for the Active City Conference in 2017 and the Future of Urban Design Education Symposia.

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Paola Capo is Manager of Disaster and Community Assistance at the AIA. She strives to provide architects and communities with the resources they need to create healthier, more sustainable and equitable built environments. In her current role, she divides her time between managing the Disaster Assistance Program (assisting architects and AIA chapters before and after disaster events occur) and supports the Communities by Design program (which matches communities with interdisciplinary expertise to achieve community aspirations). In her time at AIA, Paola has supported several other portfolios related to sustainability and climate action, including the 2030 Commitment program, the Materials Pledge, and the Committee on the Environment, with a focus on building robust programs and resources.

In 2020 she completed IAP2’s Foundations in Public Participation Program, and in 2019 she participated in UC Berkeley’s [IN]City program to expand on her knowledge in urban planning and design. She graduated from Georgetown University in 2017 with a degree in Science, Technology, and International Affairs, concentrating on Energy and the Environment—a degree inspired by the many places she lived growing up as an Army brat.

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Steven Lewis is an architect and a tireless advocate for social justice and diversity within the field of architecture. He is currently a principal with the firm ZGF Architects, where he leads the Los Angeles office’s urban design practice. Before joining ZGF, Steven was appointed by Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan to the position of Urban Design Director for the City’s Central Region, where he played a key role in shaping the vision of present and future development. Steven is the AIA 2016 Whitney M. Young, Jr. Award recipient, and was elevated to the AIA College of Fellows in December of 2015. In January of 2008, he returned to Southern California to join Parsons as a Design Manager after serving four years with the U.S. General Services Administration’s Office of the Chief Architect in Washington, DC. Steven was a Loeb Fellow at the Harvard Graduate School of Design for the 2006-07 academic year. He was a founding partner of the Los Angeles-based firm of RAW International in 1984, and for the next twenty years, was an essential part of the firm’s growth and success. In December of 2010, he concluded a twoyear term as President of the National Organization of Minority Architects, traveling around the country advocating for architects-of-color, while cultivating the next generation of diverse architects and designers. Steven recently launched a consulting practice – “Thinking Leadership – What we Do…Who we Are” – aimed at assisting clients attain superior outcomes through his engagement. More than anything, Steven is a facilitator of partnerships and alliances between groups and individuals who seek to use architecture and design to effect positive change to our world.

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Nefertitti Jackmon is the City of Austin’s first Community Displacement Prevention Officer. She leads the Displacement Prevention Division, tasked with developing and leading programming and outreach to prevent the displacement of vulnerable communities, which will include $300 million over 13 years in anti-displacement funding approved by voters in November 2020 as part of Project Connect Proposition A. The use of Project Connect anti-displacement funding will be guided by the Project Connect Equity Tool. Since COVID-19, Jackmon has worked with department leadership to program more than $50 million in tenant stabilization services including the Relief for Emergency Needs for Tenants (RENT) Program. Among leading and participating in numerous relevant bodies of work, Jackmon served as Vice-Chair on the Council appointed Anti-Displacement Task Force (2017-18). She is a speaker and regular participant in national discussions on anti-displacement strategies and policy discussions related to gentrification. Prior to coming to the Housing and Planning Department, Jackmon was the executive director of Six Square, a nonprofit organization responsible for celebrating and preserving the cultural legacy of the African American community within Austin’s Black Cultural District. Nefertitti has a Bachelor of Arts in English from California State University Fresno and a Master of Arts in Africana Studies from the State University of New York at Albany. She also has a certificate from Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business, Executive Program in Social Entrepreneurship.

Courses

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Included in subscription
Technology & the Future City

Emerging technologies will have profound impacts on the urban experience in coming years, with the potential to bring wholesale changes to everything from urban form to mobility and e-commerce. Technology is an integral component of how we plan our cities of the future, creating a host of promising opportunities and daunting challenges. This session will provide a broad overview of the major implications of key emerging technologies unfolding in cities and a framework for understanding urban design and development connections to them.  Hosted by Communities by Design (CxD).

Course expires 12/17/2025

1.00 LU|HSW
card_membership Included in subscription
Included in subscription
Decarbonization for Cities

In recent years, the climate crisis has placed decarbonization at the top of the urban agenda. While cities across the world have created climate action plans and pledged ambitious emission reductions, recent research has revealed that many jurisdictions are struggling to develop implementation strategies to meet those targets. This session will identify some of the common gaps in current city approaches and highlight innovative work happening at the local level that may provide broader guidance to community decarbonization strategies across the country. Participants will gain an understanding of the current context for this work and promising practices that may inform they own work. Hosted by Communities by Design (CxD).

Course expires 12/17/2025

1.00 LU|HSW
card_membership Included in subscription
Included in subscription
Public Process Leadership in an Age of Distrust

The community contexts in which we work today are defined overwhelmingly by pervading public mistrust, conflict and controversy, and community opposition. Our urban crises – climate, housing, equitable development - are forcing quick action to avoid catastrophe. Controversy, community opposition and legal challenges pose significant and costly burdens to achieving our collective goals. This session will provide an overview of the key challenges in the field of public participation today. It will identify core components of healthy processes that can lead to more successful community outcomes with broad community support. The session will address technique selection, as well as tools, resources and networks where participants can develop skills in public participation. Hosted by Communities by Design (CxD).

Course expires 12/17/2025

1.00 LU|HSW
card_membership Included in subscription
Included in subscription
The 15-Minute City: Sustainable Urbanism in the Future City

Professional dialogues about urbanism are often held back by their own toxic jargon, but Carlos Moreno’s framing of the “15-Minute City” has delivered a publicly accessible concept that has gained global traction in recent years. Cities all over the world have begun devising strategies with the framework in mind. Urban design plays a key role in moving this idea from concept to reality, with significant implications for climate action and equitable development. Designing more compact cities can cut our carbon emissions by an estimated 25 percent. This session will feature real-world applied settings for the 15-Minute City with lessons learned for other jurisdictions seeking to mobilize action for more sustainable urbanism. Hosted by Communities by Design (CxD).

Course expires 12/17/2025

1.00 LU|HSW
card_membership Included in subscription
Included in subscription
Introduction to Design Assistance Teams

When the design assistance team program was created in the 1960s, it pioneered participatory approaches to city building. Over five decades later, the program has established a track record of urban innovation and change that has influenced cities all over the world. Learn how the DAT program has employed one of the most powerful methodologies for urban innovation in the field today – and how its component parts have been adapted and deployed globally for urban transformations. Hosted by Communities by Design (CxD).

Course expires on 12/17/2025

1.00 LU|HSW
card_membership Included in subscription
Included in subscription
Building the Equitable City: Lessons Learned in Anti-Displacement and Equitable Development

Over the past half-century, our development policies and practices have led to segregated communities with starkly disparate realities. This trend is creating a society with vast inequalities and institutionalizing these inequalities into the very fabric of American society. Our cities today are struggling to recalibrate our approaches to growth and development so that everyone can participate and share in its benefits. This session will highlight perspectives from community leaders working on the frontlines of anti-displacement and equitable development efforts. It will feature initiatives to heal divides and repair the urban fabric to create more equitable communities. The session will share practical lessons learned from a range of diverse experiences in major American cities that can provide guidance to other community practitioners, designers and civic leaders. Hosted by Communities by Design (CxD)

Course expires 12/17/2025

1.00 LU|HSW