Designing for the Future: Introducing the University of Notre Dame's Center for Building Communities

 
9780982109809: Designing for the Future: Introducing the University of Notre Dame's Center for Building Communities
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Everybody complains about the lack of reasonably priced housing, the spread of drive-everywhere sprawl, and the looming energy and environmental crises. But where are the solutions -- the specific ways to build and, more importantly, to rebuild communities to address these problems? The Center for Building Communities aims to fill this gap by working with people in communities to generate ideas and examples that all stakeholders -- residents, nonprofit and public agencies, local business groups, and the construction and real estate industries -- can use to create places that are regionally appropriate, reasonably priced, and delightful. One way we do this is through studios that offer architecture students a "bridge experience" between the classroom and professional life. The CBC has sponsored studios in the Los Angeles Fashion District; downtown Benton Harbor, Michigan; Elkhart, Indiana; and Conway, Arkansas. Before its founding, earlier studios were conducted in St. Augustine, Florida; the Archer-Ashland area in Chicago; and the western approach to the University of Notre Dame. All were congruent with the mission to redevelop American neighborhoods to be beautiful, affordable, and so pedestrian-friendly that their residents can live well without a car if they choose to do so. This book shows what is possible.

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In their professional practice of architecture and urban design, CBC Executive Director, Ronald Sakal, and Director of Design, Sallie Hood, have developed their ideas about sustainable design since the early 1980s by working in metropolitan Chicago, Michigan, Indiana, Virginia, Arkansas, New Mexico, and California. They have dealt with situations as simple as a street too wide to cross safely and as tricky as finding a way to cluster pedestrian-friendly car dealerships on a California property constrained by a 10-lane freeway, a drainage channel, and a huge refinery. Their Santa Fe project, Solana Neighborhood Center 2038: A Model for Growth Without Sprawl, won the 1999 Ahwahnee Award of Honor for Regional Planning in the 14 western states, and professional awards from the New Mexico Chapter of the American Planning Association and the American Institute of Architects. The Chicago Historical Society in 1988 commissioned them to create three murals depicting a promising urban design future for downtown Chicago; these award-winning visions have been exhibited throughout the United States, Europe, and Asia. They have been regular invited presenters at the International Making Cities Livable Conferences and the Traditional Building Exhibition and Conferences. They have also made invited presentations at the Chicago Architecture Foundation, the Sierra Business Council´s third Planning for Prosperity advanced seminar for local decision-makers, Chicago´s Business and Professional People for the Public Interest´s Roundtable Discussion Series, 1000 Friends of New Mexico´s Lecture Series, and the biannual conference of the New Mexico Chapter of the American Planning Association.

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