June 2015 AIA Baltimore President's Message

June 22, 2015

robOur Uprising

On Monday, April 27, long present anger deeply rooted in social and economic inequity erupted in civil uprising and protest in Baltimore neighborhoods east and west connected by North Avenue, which unfortunately also included the destruction of businesses. It made apparent that recent development efforts surrounding the North Avenue corridor in Station North and Remington are just the beginning for our communities. Neighborhood leaders linked arm-in-arm demonstrated the unified approach that is needed for creating lasting change. There is much to accomplish to improve the quality of life for all citizens.
Following our May board meeting, we organized a small working group to discuss the event and identify options for action. AIABaltimore, along with the Maryland Chapter of the American Planning Association and others, will support theĀ Neighborhood Design Center and Citizens Planning & Housing Association as they convene the leaders of the community to focus on a long-term strategy of repair and growth. AIA National stands ready to assist with the resources of its Regional Urban Design Assistance Team. More immediately, AIABaltimore has contacted the Permit Office to offer member pro-bono services to the businesses destroyed or damaged by the uprising.

AIA Atlanta 2015

May found a very good number of Chapter members in Atlanta for our Convention. It was my first out-of-the-region convention and I was surprised at how engaging, stimulating and enjoyable it was. You really do feel part of a larger whole. As President, I cast our 57 votes for the national candidates and resolutions endorsed by our board. I underestimated how much time the business part of the convention would require of me and I seriously over-booked on a number of tours, receptions, dinners and seminars. There are architecture school receptions, Chapter happy hours, and lunch and dinner with friends and associates. There was never a dull moment.
AIABaltimore is a growing Chapter approaching 1000 Architect and Associate members. We are seen as leaders in Chapter effectiveness, administration and member involvement. Congratulations to Kathleen Lane, our Executive Director, and our staff.
Atlanta is a city on the move and the greatest benefit to me was seeing the current and future development plans, much of it centered on mass transit. Their Belt Line greenway and light rail plan is worth a read. Please support our Red Line!
Convention 2016 is in Philadelphia, May 19-21. Mark your calendars and make your plans. It is well worth it.

Rob Brennan, AIA
President, AIA Baltimore, 2015
Principal, brennan+company architects
Read the full newsletter here: http://us2.campaign-archive1.com/?u=dd563f8c70061de1797896c0b&id=600e529d2f