Why a mayoral panel discussion at the 2018 AIA Convention?

If you have looked at this year’s AIA South Dakota Convention schedule, you may have wondered, “Why is there a panel discussion featuring four South Dakota mayors?”

Here’s why:

The 2018 American Institute of Architects convention theme explores the profession’s most valuable asset — our Voice. As architects, we solve problems through design. We use our voice to protect the public and building owners, advocate for design and transform communities. However, we do not do it alone. We work with a broad group of professionals, including public officials, as clients and partners. What we build contributes to the economic development of our cities, and public officials are faced with challenging questions: Where do we grow? Do we grow incrementally or all at once? How do we meet the needs of today while planning for tomorrow?

During this panel, sponsored by Architecture Incorporated, four South Dakota mayors from across the state will engage in a conversation about the value, priorities and challenges of building for their community’s current needs while planning for a brighter future. None of us can do this alone.

But it doesn’t end at the mayoral panel. As our cities continue to grow, we face challenges related to providing affordable housing, neighborhood revitalization, historic preservation and sustainable growth. One of the tools for addressing these challenges is public-private partnerships. While there is an increased need for public private partnerships, there are few precedents in our state and training on this complex topic is scarce. This is why an entire Blueprint for Better session has been developed to bring together architects, public officials, developers and community leaders around design-related community issues and education about public-private partnerships. The mayoral panel is the first part of this three-part session featuring local and regional experts.

The “Blueprint for Better” name is part of a recent initiative developed by AIA national. Blueprint for Better is about showing the impact architects have on their community beyond the day to day work of designing buildings. The value architects bring is not limited to creating floor plans and selecting building materials. Architects are part of solving problems in their cities related to natural disasters, sustainable growth, affordable housing, transit and more. Many decisions related to these issues are made before an architect is hired to put pen to paper, or mouse to computer, more likely. Blueprint for Better advocates for architects as involved citizens and empowers them with the skills and tools, such as facilitating community conversations, to be recognized as valuable team members in solving community issues.

The Blueprint for Better session is open to anyone through registration. Please join us for an exciting conversation about building our cities for today and planning for tomorrow!

More information about Blueprint for Better can be found here:
https://blueprintforbetter.org/.

You can see the full schedule with more information and register to attend here:
http://aiasouthdakota.org/events-calendar/aiasd-convention/

Sara is a licensed architect at JLG Architects. After earning a Master of Architecture from Rice University, Sara completed an urban design research fellowship at a non-profit in Omaha. Before joining JLG, she was an instructor and part of starting the Department of Architecture at SDSU. She is currently working on an MBA online through the University of South Dakota. She loves to volunteer, read and spend time with her husband and small dogs.

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