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Reshaping the Suburban City

Julia Lindgren and Lizzie MacWillie

Tuesday, May 17th
1:00pm - 2:00pm EST / 10:00am - 11:00am PST

Co-sponsored by the AIA Housing and Community Development Knowledge Committee.

Session Description:

In the United States, where you live largely determines your access to opportunity and ability to thrive physically, emotionally, socially, and financially. Constructed systems of oppression including racist housing practices, policies, and financial systems have shaped the ways our neighborhoods have developed. These acts have created patterns of segregation and inequity across communities, amplified by increasing city populations, housing shortages, rising construction prices and the disconnect between where people live, work and play.

This session will use Dallas, Texas as a case study to explore how affordable medium-density housing can be leveraged to create more equitable and sustainable cities across the United States. Dallas has a housing shortage of 20,000+ units as reported by the City’s Comprehensive Housing Policy in 2018. This number continues to increase as population growth outpaces the housing supply. Addressing this shortage equitably, will require us to look beyond the simple addition of more units to strategically increase the range of affordable housing choice in high-opportunity single-family neighborhoods with access to quality schools, transit, jobs, green space and amenities.

This session will share and discuss research and design proposals generated as part of a National Endowment of the Arts Grant in partnership with the non-profit organization, Building Community WORKSHOP and University of Texas at Arlington architecture students. Studies catalog existing residential blocks and propose new land use strategies, patterns, and housing typologies that work within the existing residential fabric. Proposals will spark conversations that challenge our thoughts about private vs. shared ownership, single family zoning, and sprawl.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Participants will create a shared understanding of what medium-density housing is.
  2. Participants will generate ideas for ways in which to leverage medium-density housing strategies across various block typologies that are commonly found in US suburban cities.
  3. Participants will be able to evaluate housing strategies through the lens of density, affordability, access, and place-making.
  4. Participants will acknowledge the role race plays in housing policy, finance, and perceptions that have shaped the way our residential neighborhoods have been designed and developed.

Speaker Bios:

Lizzie MacWillie is Director of Urbanism at buildingcommunityWORKSHOP, where she oversees the Dallas office. Lizzie is an urban designer who works across project types. [bc] projects Lizzie has worked on include the community engagement for the City of Dallas’ Cultural Plan and El Sonido del Agua and an arts and advocacy project in the RGV.

Julia Lindgren is Assistant Professor at the University of Texas at Arlington where she teaches design-build studios and seminars focused on social equity and community engagement. Through practice, research and teaching, Julia explores the ways in which design processes can be used to restructure the distribution of power within cities.

May 17th, 2022 1:00 PM through  2:00 PM
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