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.