Transportation and Equity
Takeaways from the 4th Core Value Forum

Saturday morning, mid-November, where could you find AIA|LA members? At a well-attended forum addressing and progressing core values that we hold on a national level. Specifically, the discussion (and next steps) focused on “Achieving Greater Equity in Transportation-Oriented Communities.”

The forum was the fourth in a series of similar events launched by the AIA|LA in winter 2017, to further organizational core values held at a national level. Larger conferences, tasks forces and/or action steps evolved from each. Underlying the November colloquy is the core value you see above.

AIA|LA staff member Kirstin Jensvold-Rumage reports back with an initial breakdown of key takeaways and potential action items that evolved from a discussion moderated by Roland Wiley, AIA - RAW International, Inc.
NOTE: These takeaways are still evolving, through post-event communications with attendees.

What does equity look like?

  • Cultural respect
  • Architecture that harmonizes with existing architecture
  • Involving people who aren’t currently at the table: youth and students, actual community members from neighborhood directly surrounding proposed project, cultural organizations
  • Accessibility to transit - TOD displacement of communities negates potential benefits that could be received 
Main Ideas:

  • Reduce parking requirements: theoretically, a reduction in parking would offset (not eliminate) the cost of building more low income units.
  • Mission-driven developers: how can we choose developers who are from the community?
  • Incentivize good behavior: reward design and practices that respect the community and take in to consideration their needs (i.e. successful neighborhood meetings, creation of low income housing and mixed use buildings, maintain neighborhood character); benefit from "checking the boxes".
  • Measure JJJ - TOC Guidelines: integrate the TOC provisions into each of the community plans as each community plan is updated.
  • Zoning: upzone gradually in TOC plans to avoid apartment megastructures next to single family homes, single story businesses (e.g. main street is r3, one block behind is r2).
  • Economic studies - community benefit: what is the value of community benefit in developer agreements. I.e. life-cycle costs and the value that benefits provide to ensuring a healthier market place in general.
  • Plant seeds: programming, community meetings to encourage youth in these communities to become the planners/architects/developers of their own communities in the future. 
Potential Action Items:

AIA Position Paper

  • Include TOD selection criteria 
  • Better, more inclusive RFP profess to ensure greater social equity around transit-oriented communities
  • Scoring on RFPs needs to ensure that we max out the site
  • Deeply and proactively engage with community stakeholders
  • Ensure the development/design team is diverse and represents the area well
  • “check boxes” for community benefit
  • Holding elected officials responsible - encourage political leadership to do a better job at hosting forums in communities to increase outreach and representation.
Form a new committee/subcommittee of the Urban Design Committee to focus on Community Outreach & Social Responsibility

  • Include EMPOWER LA (neighborhood councils), developers, Urban Land Institute (ULI)
  • Group Meeting/Forum hosted by AIA; invite ULI, SoCal Chapter of the National Organization of Minority Architects (NOMA), Southern California Development Forum (SCDF), and USC Master Plan Advisory Committee 
AIA People’s Choice Awards

  • Community members (organizations?) vote on best design from their point of view
  • This award could be a part of the Design Awards, similar to COTE, or an entirely separate award not included in the ceremony
  • New Community Outreach subcommittee could organize this award?
Last updated: 21-Nov-2017 01:26 PM
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