2017 has been a banner year for natural disasters and a brutal one for humanity. Hurricanes, tropical storms, wildfires and earthquakes have evoked devastation on a global scale; this year in the U.S., natural disasters have claimed hundreds of lives, displaced tens of thousands more and have economically crippled entire regions. Tropical storm Harvey alone, which flooded an area around Houston the size of Lake Michigan, caused approximately $180 million in damage and displaced over 30,000 people.
NAIOP, the Commercial Real Estate Development Association, honored Dr. Margaret McFarland, Director of the Colvin Institute for Real Estate Development, as Member of the Year earlier this month at the Maryland-Washington, D.C. chapter’s 15th Annual Awards of Excellence. The event honors individuals for outstanding achievement in commercial and industrial real estate. Margaret was named “best of the best,” one of six awards presented that night, along with such development power players as JBG Smith and Clark Construction Group.
Two new tool kits developed by researchers at the National Center for Smart Growth (NCSG) are providing strategies to help shape neighborhood growth, expand access to opportunity and improve quality of life. Geared toward community stakeholders and policymakers, the tools offer a roadmap to capturing community input, a critical element to planning for better neighborhoods. The tools are part of an online platform by Enterprise Community Partners, a national affordable housing nonprofit, called Opportunity 360.
In August, URSP graduate student Sofie Rhoads (M.C.P. ’18) and her research group won the award for best collaborative research project, a celebratory nod to their innovative vision for the Chicago community of North Lawndale. The project was the culmination of a two-week “boot camp” at the University of Illinois at Chicago’s Summer Institute on Sustainability and Energy (SISE). SISE pools undergraduate and graduate students from around the world to learn, research and collaborate around themes of sustainability.
Over the past two decades, the three Washington area chapters of the American Institute of Architects (AIA), the Washington Architectural Foundation, and the National Building Museum have collaborated to organize the annual Interschool Design Competition. These competitions expose students to the various local architectural curriculums and the architectural profession.
Andrea Ponsi talks with his hands. In a recent critique of projects in MAPP’s great space, his fluent gestures—combined with a sharp Italian accent—demand attention. Later in studio, working closely with students one-to-one, Ponsi again uses his hands to make a point—this time with a pencil.