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Applications Open for the 2016 Sustainable Cities Design Academy!

The American Architectural Foundation is pleased to announce the Sustainable Cities Design Academy’s (SCDA) 2016 Call for Applications. The SCDA encourages public-private partnership project teams to apply to the design workshop in Washington, DC on August 3-5, 2016.

Download the 2016 SCDA Application

SCDA connects project teams and multi-disciplinary sustainable design experts through highly interactive charrettes that help project teams advance their green infrastructure, financing, and community development goals. 

What is a charrette you may wonder? charrette is an intensive planning session where citizens, designers and others collaborate on a vision for development. It provides a forum for ideas and offers the unique advantage of giving immediate feedback to the designers. More importantly, it allows everyone who participates to be a mutual author of the plan.

To support a diverse portfolio of SCDA projects, United Technologies Corporation is the presenting sponsor for this program. Past project partner participants include the nonprofit, Community Solutions, which brought the rehabilitation of the historic Swift Factory project to SCDA. This vacant, former metallurgy factory in a Hartford, CT northeast neighborhood created an opportunity to provide residents with a centrally located physical location to host a community hub, supporting healthcare education, employment training, food production, and cultural connections.

Thanks in part to SCDA’s charrette process, the project team developed an implementation strategy to launch this challenging project toward success. Patrick McKenna, Community Solutions’ Project Manager recounted: “SCDA helped us rethink Swift’s potential.” The project team is now aligning the factory’s rehabilitation with the City’s community and economic development goals, especially in the Northeast Hartford community. We are “rallying residents, local nonprofits, businesses, and government agencies around Swifts’ revival,” Patrick continued. The factory’s rehabilitation not only takes into consideration the community’s immediate needs around food security, job training, and local business incubation, but also the incorporation of green building technology and sustainable site design. “A renewed Swift Factory building and wider campus is expected to create 250 jobs and countless trainings,” Patrick said.

The most valuable part of SCDA, Patrick told us, is that it “shined a larger light on our ambitious plans, giving the project an invaluable national standing and increased interest and investment.” Furthermore, it helped deepen relationships with government and community partners and all things that in the long run lead to the sustainability of a project.

Other past SCDA project team participants include:

Philadelphia Navy Yard
Mariposa Corridor, Fresno, CA
Mill River District, New Haven, CT
Fulton Industrial Corridor Redevelopment, Atlanta
Detroit Bloody Run Creek Greenway Project
Cemetery Resaca Restoration, Brownsville, TX

The deadline to apply is 5:00 pm EST on Thursday, January 28, 2016. If you have any questions regarding SCDA or this application process, contact:

Elizabeth Okeke-Von Batten
Program Director, Sustainable Cities Design Academy
202.787.1017

See more here.

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