Urban Affairs

Urban Affairs

Chair

The Urban Affairs Committee of AIA San Antonio monitors all urban development issues and provides assistance and leadership to the larger community.

David Bogle, AIA

AIA San Antonio – A Partner For Your Community

If your community wants to develop a plan for growth and redevelopment, AIASA can help.
The San Antonio Chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIASA) can help support your community development in several ways. If you are ready to hire a design professional, we can guide you through the process of selecting the designer best suited to address the specific needs of your community. If you are in the beginning stages of organizing and planning for your community, we can help assist you in determining the best strategy for planning growth and redevelopment in your community.

Bringing your community together to create a redevelopment plan will ensure the most buy-in to your final community vision plan.  This process is known as Community Design, a movement focused on the creation and management of environments for people. Community Design promotes change to the built environment from the neighborhood to the regional scale, and aims to meet community needs through participatory decision-making. Community design often involves all members of a community, from the residents, to the local government, to the stakeholders in local real estate and businesses. The collaboration of each member of the community can help to establish active partnerships between local residents, businesses and institutions all advocating and developing strategies to help improve the quality of life within your community. A commitment to diversity and dialogue are core values of community design.

Should you decide to embark on the Community Design process, you may wish to meet with AIASA. Volunteers from AIASA have the experience and expertise in design and community development to help determine the scope of your project, and the best way for your community to proceed. Your team of volunteers will also be able to assess the level of assistance AIASA can provide for your community.

A design charette is often used in Community Design as a means of organizing and developing a wide range of ideas and opinions into a cohesive planning solutions.  A charette is an intensive design workshop in which citizens, designers, and other stakeholders collaborate on a vision for development.  The charette process provides a forum for ideas and offers the unique advantage of giving immediate feedback to all the members involved. More importantly, everyone involved becomes a mutual author in the future development for the community. Should you decide to conduct a design charette, AIASA can assist you in the planning and conducting your charette.

The outcome of a charette is intended to provide:

  • A community based vision
  • Stakeholder buy-in
  • Design objectives and goals
  • List of “next steps”
  • Strategies for plan implementation, and
  • In some cases, the charette can provide a basis for developing a request for professional services.

The outcome is NOT intended to provide:

  • Full design services
  • Construction Documents
  • Construction management services
  • Cost estimating

AIASA supports volunteer participation of AIA members in charrettes to promote community-based stakeholder outreach and input during the planning and design of neighborhoods and communities.  AIASA also supports implementation of sustainable planning principles and maintains a commitment to design excellence.

Even with the assistance of experienced professionals, achieving your goals and producing a development strategy will require a significant investment from your community. Your organization or community will be in charge of bringing stakeholders to the table, securing funding/donations, seeking support from elected officials, organizing the charette day and any marketing efforts. Volunteers from AIASA can help guide the process through regularly scheduled meetings during the preparation period.

How long is the preparation period? Expect around six months, depending on your project scope. Time must be allotted to accomplish the following:

Determine the area stakeholders and bring them to the table

  • Identify the social, economic and political issues related to the project through a strengths – weaknesses – opportunities – threats analysis).
  • Get the word out and build interest in the project
  • Gather necessary information on the design area, including plan, maps, GIS data, and any other relevant information.

Can the vision be created without the charette process?

AIASA promotes the public charette process as the most successful community-based planning exercise because it helps to ensure that all voices of a community are heard and that any final development strategy reflects the needs and opinions of all members of the community.

Local communities that have utilized AIASA volunteers, include Port San Antonio, Boerne and Leon Valley.

AIASA can provide further support in additional to volunteer efforts in the following ways:

  • Assist in finding sponsors for the community design charrettes
  • Solicit participation of allied partners, professionals and organizations

(San Antonio Foundation for Architecture, AIA national, APA, ASLA, ULI, University programs, CNU, etc.)

If this sounds like a process your organization wants to undertake, apply to the AIASA to see if a Design Assistance Team can meet your needs.  Your application letter should come from the organization sponsoring the redevelopment efforts and should identify the boundaries of the study area. Please include information about any funding you have available and any additional funding you intend to seek. Additionally, identify your committee chairpersons and committee members along with their related expertise (ex. Design professionals, grant writer, etc.)

Contact the Urban Affairs Committee, AIA San Antonio. The Center for Architecture, 1344 South Flores, Ste. 102, San Antonio, Texas 78204  210.226.4979 or info@aiasa.orginfo@aiasa.org

Upcoming UA events

Aug
26
Mon
AIA Chapter Meeting @ The Pearl Stable
Aug 26 @ 11:30 AM – 1:00 PM
Sep
2
Mon
Labor Day – AIA Office Closed
Sep 2 all-day
LiA Community Gathering @ AIA San Antonio Center for Architecture
Sep 2 @ 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Sep
3
Tue
COTE Meeting @ Rosella Coffee
Sep 3 @ 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM
Sep
5
Thu
Historic Resources Meeting @ AIA San Antonio Center for Architecture
Sep 5 @ 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM
Sep
9
Mon
CAN Opener of CANstruction
Sep 9 @ 5:30 PM – 8:30 PM
Sep
10
Tue
CRAN Lunchtime Construction Tours: Craig McMahon Project tentative @ tbd
Sep 10 @ 11:30 AM – 1:00 PM
WiA Planning Workshop @ AIA Center for Architecture
Sep 10 @ 6:00 PM – 8:30 PM

September’s WiA Meeting will focus on harvesting ideas and input for the 2020 WiA Calendar.

Join us to share your ideas and sign up to be a part of this dynamic groups event planning for 2020. Topics discussed will include the following:

Educational Opportunities – led by Mary Minor, Assoc. AIA
Cultivating The Network – led by Dawn Vernon, AIA San Antonio Allied Member
Professional Development – led by Aline Yoldi, AIA
Fall Panel Event: Shaping the AEC Dialogue – led by Sandra Arenas, AIA San Antonio Allied Member
Women’s History Month Exhibit – led by Amber Perry, Assoc. AIA

Sep
18
Wed
NEXO Opening @ AIA San Antonio Center for Architecture
Sep 18 @ 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Sep
19
Thu
CRAN Texas Voices Lecture: Mell Lawrence, FAIA tentative @ Guido Building Materials
Sep 19 @ 11:30 AM – 1:00 PM
Sep
21
Sat
Family Design Day @ Plaza Guadalupe
Sep 21 @ 9:00 AM – 1:00 PM
Sep
23
Mon
AIA Chapter Meeting @ TBD
Sep 23 @ 11:30 AM – 1:00 PM
Sep
26
Thu
HcKg: HHSC – Working with the State @ AIA San Antonio Center for Architecture
Sep 26 @ 11:30 AM – 1:30 PM
Sep
27
Fri
4X4: Residential Exteriors @ AIA San Antonio Center for Architecture
Sep 27 @ 7:30 AM – 12:00 PM
Sep
30
Mon
CES Deadline from Google Apps
Sep 30 all-day
Oct
1
Tue
COTE Meeting @ Rosella Coffee
Oct 1 @ 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM
WiA Network Meeting @ TBD
Oct 1 @ 5:30 PM – 7:30 PM
Oct
3
Thu
Historic Resources Meeting @ AIA San Antonio Center for Architecture
Oct 3 @ 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM
Oct
7
Mon
LiA Community Gathering @ AIA San Antonio Center for Architecture
Oct 7 @ 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Oct
10
Thu
LiA: Platicas
Oct 10 @ 6:00 PM – 7:30 PM
LiA: Platicas @ Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center
Oct 10 @ 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Oct
12
Sat
Homes Tour
Oct 12 all-day
Oct
28
Mon
AIA Chapter Meeting @ TBD
Oct 28 @ 11:30 AM – 1:00 PM
Nov
4
Mon
LiA Community Gathering @ AIA San Antonio Center for Architecture
Nov 4 @ 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Nov
5
Tue
COTE Meeting @ Rosella Coffee
Nov 5 @ 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM
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