Sustainable Equitable Cities: How We Move Shapes the City

This is the first of a three-part series on how we we move, develop, and build within our cities matters to the health and well-being of our planet and our communities by architect Kathy Galvin, FAIA

How we move shapes the evolution of cities, and cities, by virtue of their diversity, compactness, and capacity to innovate, will play a critical role in solving the chronic problems amplified by the pandemic, from global climate change to social and racial inequality. To successfully address these challenges, we must transform our transportation system.

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Community Remembrance: The AIA Virginia Student Prize Competition for 2021

Prompt written by Marcia Feuerstein, AIA, Associate Professor, and Susan Piedmont-Palladino, Director, Virginia Tech’s Washington Alexandria Architecture Center (WAAC)

At 5 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 22, architecture students across the Commonwealth of Virginia clicked a link to find the prompt for the AIA Virginia Prize Student Competition, which was open to students at Hampton University, the University of Virginia and both campuses of Virginia Tech’s architecture program, the main campus in Blacksburg and the Washington Alexandria Architecture Center (WAAC). Each year the responsibility of drafting the prompt rotates among the schools and this year it was the WAAC’s turn.

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In Solidarity and Action

As I type these words, helicopters buzz low over my Washington, D.C. neighborhood, and massive crowds stream through the streets in protest of the injustices perpetrated against George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and so, so many in the Black community over the last 400+ years. Injustices both outrageously specific and overwhelmingly systemic, and we grieve them.

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Virginia NOMA and the Project Pipeline

Virginia NOMA (VANOMA) is on the verge of becoming the newest chapter of NOMA (National Organization of Minority Architects). The organization was formed in 1971 and supports minority Architects, architecture interns and students providing education, training, mentoring and resources. Student chapters (NOMAS) exist on most university campuses with an architecture curriculum.

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Can You Hear Me Now?

An Open Memo to My Colleagues in the Community of Architecture

A cellular company once popularized the commercial phrase, “can you hear me, now?” For years, there has been a credible, audible but unheard plea from the depths of the soul of a segment of the American family that there is an injustice that has been perpetual and persistent. America has not listened because it only impacted a small number of our family members. Occasionally there was an uprising, when tensions from the injustice rose to a boil, but they were quickly squashed.

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Turning Inspiration into Climate Action

On March 4, VMDO’s Sustainability Working Group sat brainstorming ways to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Earth Day. We had the momentum of the Fridays for Future Movement, the AIA had dedicated itself to climate issues through “the Big Move,” Democratic presidential candidates were debating who could be the most transformative on climate action, and a sea change was happening in the Virginia State Legislature – the clean energy transition that had seemed almost impossible a year ago was being set in motion by the House of Delegates. It was (and still is) an amazing time to celebrate the birth of the environmental movement.

Then COVID-19 happened, and life as we knew it completely changed.

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