Affordable Housing and Historic Preservation

Healthy Rowhouse Project (Grant 1), Co-Founder, 2014 to 2016, with Karen Black. Geneva, Switzerland based Oak Foundation chose to place a planning grant with the Center for Architecture rather than in an academic think tank setting, recognizing the value of architects' experience in translating ideas into real physical change in the built environment. Hosted Mayoral Forum (with Next Great City) and met with all Mayoral candidates and selected City Council candidates to promote a linked strategy for home repair as public health and affordable housing policy. The new Council passed a $100 million bond issue to support affordable housing.

Philadelphia Assembled, a project of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, sole invited architect, 2014 to December 2017, convened by renowned Dutch artist, Jeanne Van Heeswijk. Prime resource person for Reconstructions Atmosphere artists and activists on racial and class disparities in home repair and strategies for assisting  people in keeping their homes as a buffer against economic and cultural displacement. Art installations derived from group processes brought international attention to ways art can make connections among people and give them real strategies to keep their homes and culture as neighborhoods change. Opening day at the museum drew 2,000 visitors.

UNESCO World Heritage City, Philadelphia , Community Development Group, member representing  Healthy Rowhouse Project, 2016 to present, formed to take the benefits of being a World Heritage City into all neighborhoods.

United Nations Regional Conference prior to Habitat III, Philadelphia, Invited Representative for Healthy Rowhouse Project, 2016 

WHYY / Plan Philly At Home in a Rowhouse, Panelist 2016, representing Healthy Rowhouse Project     A surprisingly young crowd, given that it is a public TV station, showed keen interest in rowhouse preservation as a public health and affordable housing strategy.

Pennsylvania Statewide Conference on Heritage, Lewisburg PA - Understanding the Issues and Realities of Lead Paint and What It Means for Pennsylvania's Cultural Resources Presenter 2016, representing Healthy Rowhouse Project, A receptive group of "Capital P" historic preservationists warmly embraced "Small P" preservation strategies to save humble 18th and 19th century rowhouses and make them healthier for occupants.


Publications, Speaking Engagements

As Co-Chair of thee AIA Philadelphia Urban Design Committee and Chair of the Design Advocacy Group, Kiki organized events, participated in panel discussions, testified at City Council and published opinion pieces. 

PLANPHILLY "Audio Postcard"

BUILDING STORIES: THE ROWHOUSE 2016  http://planphilly.com/eyesonthestreet/2016/04/15/building-stories-the-rowhouse

A newly built affordable housing unit can cost more than $300,000. We want to see our rowhouses repaired at a fraction of that cost, and at the same time preserve this important part of Philadelphia's history and character.

PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER LETTER TO THE EDITOR: PHILADELPHIA HOUSING AUTHORITY SHARSWOOD REDEVELOPMENT  2015 

Groundbreaking for the Sharswood redevelopment north of Girard Colleg was on August 20.  While the owners of more 1,300 properties have been notified that their buildings and land will be taken by eminent domain, the Philadelphia Housing Authority's plan for the 24 square block neighborhood has not been made public.  DAG hopes that the planners will not repeat the mistakes of the past, when distressed but salvageable districts were entirely demolished and replaced by sterile (and now

loathed) "projects."  But until the PHA reveals the actual design, we won't know.

PLANPHILLY Op-Ed  "A SAFE AND THRIVING CITY" RE: PROPOSED CITY CHARTER CHANGE  2015  http://planphilly.com/eyesonthestreet/2015/05/15/toward-a-safe-and-thriving-city 

Promoting development in our city and protecting human lives must remain utterly separate processes if we are to have a safe and thriving city. Voters should expect that by the end of this year, the new Mayor's transition team will be working closely with City Council to design changes to the system that will place a firewall between those processes.

PLANPHILLY HOUSING POLICY IN PHILADELPHA: WE CAN DO BETTER  2015  http://planphilly.com/eyesonthestreet/2015/03/18/housing-policy-in-philadelphia-we-can-do-better

Vacant and abandoned properties blight neighborhoods, take away hope, and thwart the good work in affordable housing by non-profits and private developers. Now that Philadelphia is growing again there is no reason to lose more homes.

PLANPHILLY TOWARD A SAFE AND THRIVING CITY 2015http://planphilly.com/eyesonthestreet/2015/05/15/toward-a-safe-and-thriving-city

 .....an excuse for the same old collective Philadelphia shrug. It's his fault. My way was better. Whatever. 

LETTER TO PHILADELPHIA CITY PLANNING COMMISSION DESIGN REVIEW COMMITTEE RE ONE RIVERSIDE  2013

The discussion of the developer centered around his past buildings and did not acknowledge the quality of the current design team. There was no base line of common courtesy and civil discussion, so the opportunity to really discuss the building project was lost.

CONTEXT, THE JOURNAL OF AIA PHILADELPHIA, THE HEALTHY ROWHOUSE PROJECT: Philadelphia Story of Health and Architecture Summer 2016 https://www.aiaphiladelphia.org/sites/default/files/uploads/context_summer_16.pdf  pp 26-28

The most affordable house is one that has already been built. We have an amazing opportunity here to improve conditions in those homes, and to allow adults and children to succeed rather than just to survive.

DAILY NEWS/PHILLY.COM, PEOPLE'S EDITORIAL BOARD: Memo to Council: Just say 'thank you' for zoning reform 2012  http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/peb/Memo-to-Council-Just-say-thank-you-for-zoning-reform.html  2012-12-8

CONTEXT, THE JOURNAL OF AIA PHILADELPHIA, IMAGINING INDUSTRY: The Agile City

https://issuu.com/aia_philadelphia/docs/context-spring-summer-2011

Now the citizens of Philadelphia - tough, agile and resourceful - are poised to imagine and implement a green industrial city with vibrant industry and traditional neighborhoods, and places for a new mix of the two.

PLANPHILLY COMMENTARY/VIDEO - Get the Plaza Right (Dilworth Plaza at City hall) 2009 http://planphilly.com/articles/2009/01/20/commentary-get-plaza-right

With AIA Urban Design Committee Co-Chair John Gibbons, AIA. When then President-Elect Obama started his pre-inaugural train trip in Philadelphia on Saturday, he referred to us as a “resilient, generous and decent” people. Especially in these troubled times, we and our built works have to aspire to that standard.

CENTER FOR ARCHITECTURE BLOG KIKI BOLENDER, PHILLY GIRLS DO GOOD 2014  https://www.philadelphiacfa.org/tags/kiki-bolender

PLANPHILLY KIKI BOLENDER, STREET VIEWS 5 (VIDEO)  http://planphilly.com/eyesonthestreet/2015/03/06/streetviews-q-a-with-kiki-bolender-architect-and-design-advocacy-group-chair

 


Quality Design in the Public Realm

Design Advocacy Group, Chair, 2012-2015, Steering Committee 2012 to present, Design Advocacy Group (DAG), dedicated to improvements to the public realm for all citizens. Organized and hosted monthly meetings, scheduled speakers, wrote Op-Ed advocacy pieces, testified at City Council, was invited member of ad hoc City Council President's committee to restructure planning and development services. Hosted meetings for three years. Testified at  Philadelphia City Council, Art Commission and Historical Commission, and Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board in support of good design and historic preservation. Improvements  were made to major building projects and City policies; a firewall was created between developer "concierge" services and building permits and  inspections; a riverfront setback in the new zoning code was successfully defended and maintained. DAG serves as national model for architects and planners coming together as volunteer advocates.

AIA Philadelphia Board of Directors 2014-2016;  AIA Member since 2000; AIA Philadelphia Context, The Industry Issue, Co-Editor, with Rachel S. Schade;  AIA National Convention Tour Host 2016;  Women In Architecture Committee, Member                                  

AIA Philadelphia Urban Design Committee, Co-Chair, with John Gibbons, AIA 2006-2011 Created programs to keep AIA members abreast of current architectural and planning projects. As Philadelphia embarked on zoning code reform, added advocacy activities to encourage a smoother process that would lead to better buildings and public spaces. Presented AIA Sustainability and Green Building Goals to Zoning Code Commission, many of which were incorporated into the new code. Created Common Ground for Building Our City to embed positive civic input into development decisions. Created Design on the Delaware program with national critics, writers and architects. 

Next Great City Initiative, AIA Philadelphia representative, 2007-2011.

Common Ground for Building Our City: Developers, the Public and the Zoning Code, Creator, 2010. Secured William Penn Foundation funding for the AIA Philadelphia Urban Design Committee (through the Center for Architecture) and hosted workshops with the Penn Project for Civic Engagement to bring together civic leaders with developers, architects and zoning lawyers to advise the Zoning Code Commission. Fresh ideas were found, along with support for long-held wish-list ideas of certain Commission members. Seven out of eight principles for citizen involvement in the development process were adopted in the new code. Registered Community Organizations (RCOs) were created, administered by the Planning Commission. A Civic Design Review Committee was formed to review projects with significant impact on the public realm. The Citizens Planning Institute was formed. 

Building Industry Association of Philadelphia Governance Committee, Member, representing the Design Advocacy Group. 2013-2015. Developers, real estate attorneys, public officials and architects track public policies and practices that impact the building industry at the national, state and local levels.

Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority Advisory Board of Design, Member, 2004 to present, one of two longest-serving members. Review design submissions on PRA land for impact on the public realm. Aesthetic critiques are deliberately limited. An improved pedestrian experience of the building and better management of building service elements results in a more walkable and equitable city.

City Council President's Ad Hoc Committee on Charter Change for Planning and Development, 2015. Worked in small group with Council staff to require firewall between planning/development services and Licenses and Inspections.

Central Delaware Waterfront Planning Process Charrette Week, Invited Designer, 2007. Worked on a team with a European architect to develop his metaphor into a physical prototype to extend green space from the waterfront into park-less neighborhoods. Embedded neighborhood focus for waterfront planning policy in North Philadelphia. Forged connections that led to successful advocacy five years later as Chair of the Design Advocacy Group.

Philadelphia Inquirer and Penn Praxis Franklin Conference on Schools, Invited Designer, 2005. Worked with a team to develop a flexible layout and elements of renewable energy for a vacant downtown building. School District of Philadelphia created a successful STEM high school on the site, partnering with the Franklin Institute.

Philly Land Bank Alliance, Advisory Committee Member, representing the Design Advocacy Group 2012-2013. Worked with Community Development Corporations and representatives of City departments. Philadelphia created a Land Bank.