Affordable Housing & Disaster Resilience, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Sponsored by ACSA, the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), and Iowa State University, the April 2011 symposium was a continuation of a project started by the NEA to stimulate and promote innovative design strategies for affordable and mixed-income housing.
Led by Nadia M. Anderson of Iowa State University, the symposium brought together experts in affordable housing, disaster resilience and sustainable design with local housing and planning officials and nonprofit and for-profit housing developers. The discussions centered on the continuing development of sustainable neighborhoods and affordable housing in flood-affected areas of Cedar Rapids, IA.
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Innovation and Research
The Economic Recovery Act signed into law by President Obama enables resources for investments in infrastructure, affordable housing, education, and mass transit, as well as funding for research. We believe students and schools of architecture have a valuable contribution to make to help ensure that projects funded are not simply “shovel-ready,” but “shovel-worthy.”
The AIA and ACSA held a call for examples of faculty and student projects that would be of interest to local AIA chapters working to influence the effective use of stimulus funding.
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"We have all watched the tragic events unfold in Haiti over the last two weeks, and you may have wondered, as I have, what we, in the architectural academy, might do to help, other than giving money to the charities working to save lives there. Clearly, with 1.5 million people homeless, the need to rebuild or seismically reinforce large numbers of structures and to resettle a sizeable portion of the nation in less crowded conditions will have to begin soon. After food, water, and medical attention get taken care of, the need for shelter will come next.
In anticipation of calls for architectural assistance, we thought the first step would be for our community to identify who, in our schools, has expertise or has been doing work in disaster assistance, low-cost shelter, low-tech seismic techniques, and culturally and climatically responsive sustainable development, among other relevant areas. We would welcome any other thoughts you might have about how we might help in the reconstruction of Haiti. Send information and ideas to Pascale Vonier at firstname.lastname@example.org, and we will get to work on how we might respond as a community."
ACSA President, Thomas Fisher
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