“Design as Preventative Medicine” Highlights Theme of Architects’ Video on Impact of Decade of Design on Public Health


Video To Be Played at CGI Annual Meeting Depicts Research Collaboration Between AIA and MIT’s Center for Advanced Urbanism

New York, N.Y. – September 26, 2013 – (RealEstateRama) — “Design as Long-Term, Preventative Medicine” is the theme behind a compelling new video that repositions the architectural profession as a primary catalyst for making America’s cities healthier places to live and work.

AIA Chief Executive Officer Robert Ivy, FAIA, aptly uses that phrase to describe the strategy architects must employ to make an impact on America’s public health crisis. The video will be played today at the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) Annual Meeting, where more than 1,000 global leaders are gathering to address CGI’s 2013 theme, “Mobilizing for Impact.”

You can see the Decade of Design: The AIA Global Urban Solutions Challenge video here: http://youtu.be/ZHqwG1fr-h0

The video serves to underscore the importance of the “Decade of Design” Commitment to Action the AIA made at last year’s CGI Annual Meeting to develop design and technology solutions for cities that address challenges faced on public health, sustainability, and resiliency to natural disasters. The research is the basis of a report that the video describes on the ongoing research collaboration between the AIA and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Center for Advanced Urbanism (CAU).

“When it comes to the design and form of cities, there are no silver bullets or universal templates to urban health problems: each city has unique formal characteristics and fabrics that affect its urban health,” said Ivy. “This research allows us to draw fundamental design solutions from a rich inventory of planning approaches in several American cities.”

Early intervention by the design community, the video argues, is crucial whenever a major effort at urban renaissance is being planned or undertaken. It is the architect’s expertise in solving land use dilemmas, forging public consensus and predicting the impact of various planning approaches that will determine whether urban America can truly offer healthy, livable environments once again.

The report covers research that so far has been conducted in eight American cities – Atlanta, Houston, LA, San Francisco, Chicago, Minneapolis, Boston and New York. Teams of researchers have fanned out in each city to gather data about each city’s major design projects. The next step is to determine which city will serve as the ultimate laboratory for design solutions that can have a major impact on public health.

“Over the coming semester we will enter into discussions with city leaders, foundations, and local businesses to figure out where we can do the most good through collaboration on creating design solutions that improve urban health environments,” said Adèle Naudé Santos, Dean of the School of Architecture + Planning at MIT. “The research we have done so far sets the framework; what comes next is the real effort to come up with reliable design solutions to the health crisis facing America’s cities.”

About the American Institute of Architects
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. Members adhere to a code of ethics and professional conduct to ensure the highest standards in professional practice. Embracing their responsibility to serve society, AIA members engage civic and government leaders and the public in helping find needed solutions to pressing issues facing our communities, institutions, nation and world. Visit www.aia.org.

About the MIT, Center for Advanced Urbanism
Established in 2012, the MIT Center for Advanced Urbanism’s objective is to become the world’s pre-eminent cultural center about the design of metropolitan environments, by articulating methods and projects to integrate separate disciplinary agendas in architecture, landscape, ecology, transportation engineering, politics and political philosophy, technology and real estate through a most eloquent design culture on scales ranging from the complex infrastructural intersection, to that of a neighborhood, on to the scale of an entire regional system.

About the Clinton Global Initiative
Established in 2005 by President Bill Clinton, the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI), an initiative of Bill, Hillary & Chelsea Clinton Foundation, convenes global leaders to create and implement innovative solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges. CGI Annual Meetings have brought together more than 150 heads of state, 20 Nobel Prize laureates, and hundreds of leading CEOs, heads of foundations and NGOs, major philanthropists, and members of the media. To date CGI members have made more than 2,300 commitments, which are already improving the lives of more than 400 million people in over 180 countries. When fully funded and implemented, these commitments will be valued at $73.5 billion.

CGI also convenes CGI America, a meeting focused on collaborative solutions to economic recovery in the United States, and CGI University (CGI U), which brings together undergraduate and graduate students to address pressing challenges in their community or around the world, and, this year, CGI Latin America, which will bring together Latin American leaders to identify, harness, and strengthen ways to improve the livelihoods of people in Latin America and around the world. For more information, visit clintonglobalinitiative.org and follow us on Twitter @ClintonGlobal and Facebook at facebook.com/clintonglobalinitiative.

Contact: John Schneidawind


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