Forum on Architecture + Design: Affordable Housing

November 12, 2021
8 AM - 2 PM
Registration is required
Event Cost: 

$25 - $250

Save the Date!

The Forum on Architecture + Design is AIA Philadelphia’s regional education conference with multidisciplinary educational content for designers, civic leaders, product manufacturers, technology providers, and real estate developers – all the industries that contribute to shaping our built environment. This year's Forum evolves from a consecutive three-day conference to three one-day events over three consecutive months—one in October, November, and December. Each event will focus on one specific topic that will inform the programming for the day. Attendees can expect to earn the same number of educational credits by attending all three events as they would from the three day conference.

Affordable Housing

Access to affordable housing is a fundamental need that is increasingly out of reach for many Americans today. This forum will explore policies, case studies and innovative solutions that aim to make equitable, affordable and sustainable housing a reality for the masses.


8:00 a.m. - 8:15 a.m. 

8:15 a.m. - 9:15 a.m.
Session 1: Combatting our New ‘Gravity’ with Passive (Aggressive) Efforts
Speakers: Paul Thompson, Angela Iraldi, Neil Goldman, LeAnne Harvey, Laura Blau
Credits: 1 AIA LU (HSW)
Program Description: The new ‘gravity’ that we can’t escape is climate change and it is altering the way we design, construct, and operate our built environment. While we need to limit the impact of our buildings on the environment, we also need to create equitable and just communities that can adapt to climate impacts. The Passive House Community within Green Building United strives to make Passive House design and construction mainstream, especially across ubiquitous and important building types in our area. This session will focus on the Passive House Community’s recent Rowhome Manual demonstration project, partnership with Habitat for Humanity Philadelphia, and continuing state-wide affordable housing advocacy and how they can be applied to existing rowhomes, single family residences, and larger multi-family projects.

9:15 a.m. - 9:30 a.m.

9:30 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.
Session 2: Philadelphia Neighborhoods - Present and Future
Speakers: Ryan Spak (Moderator), Brian Murrey, Charles Lomax, De'Wayne Drummond, Councilwoman Jamie Gauthier
Credits: 1.5 AIA LUs (HSW)
Program Description: Many Philadelphia neighborhoods are undergoing significant transformation, with higher-income residents moving in, real estate prices rising, new businesses replacing old ones, and racial and ethnic compositions changing.These processes are unfolding presently in Mantua (West Philadelphia) and Kensington (North Philadelphia) neighborhoods. Some residents view it as bringing vibrancy to the affected neighborhoods and much-needed tax revenue to the city. Others worry that longtime residents are being forced to leave and that those who stay no longer feel they belong. In this session we will learn how developers finance affordable housing, their cooperation with local community organizations, review recently completed or designed projects.

11:00 a.m. - 11:15 a.m.

11:15 a.m. - 12:45 p.m.
Session 3: Unhoused Communities
Speakers: Dennis Culhane (Moderator), Jared McKnight, Ted Brinegar, Larry Arney, Janet Stearns
Credits: 1.5 AIA LUs (HSW)
Program Description: Homelessness is a persistent phenomenon of the urban life in our cities. There are many factors attributing to the homelessness, such as loss of material resources, loss of family or social connections, domestic violence, physical and mental  disabilities, loss of health. A huge shortage of affordable housing exasperated the problem. Representatives from Foxhole Housing, Project HOME and University of South California will discuss various programs aimed at assisting homeless population. ​

12:45 p.m. - 1:00 p.m.

1:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m.
Keynote: A Green New Deal for Housing: An Anti-Racist Building Agenda for a Decade of Struggle
Speaker: Daniel Aldana Cohen
Credits: 1 AIA LU (HSW)
Program Description: Housing causes over a sixth of the United States’ carbon emissions, with households of color paying the highest share of their income to keep the lights on. And disparities in home ownership anchor the racial white gap between Black and white Americans, with the latter owning almost ten times as much wealth as the former. The crisis of climate, energy, and white supremacy intersect in Americans’ homes. To build an alternative system, we need to start with new conceptual foundations: an intersection analysis of how housing crystallizes the concatenating crises of our time. Cohen will draw on qualitative research in Brazil and the United States, and cutting-edge carbon footprint analysis, and new theories of eco-apartheid that link analyses of race and class, to develop those foundations. He will consider the lessons of Vienna’s social housing experiment and Catherine Bauer’s work on “modern housing” in the United States. And he will explore the architectural and political challenges of building—and retrofitting—anti-racist green social housing in the United States during the 2020s. He will conclude with a call for architects to bring their distinctive expertise into unruly social coalitions for dramatic change.


For more information, please contact:
AIA Philadelphia
Julianne Foley