Urban design connects a community’s physical, cultural and economic landscapes. It’s also vital in enhancing a city’s functionality and defining its character.
Soon, mayors from across the western United States will converge on the city of Houston to learn how they can become active participants in the design of their respective cities. The University of Houston’s Community Design Resource Center is hosting the Mayors’ Institute on City Design: West (MICD) Feb. 1 – 3. The event connects American mayors with noted design professionals to address the challenges faced by cities, as well as strategies for revitalization.
“The fundamental goal of this three-day conference is to educate city leaders and get them to care about design,” said Susan Rogers, director of UH’s Community Design Resource Center. “It’s an opportunity for them to learn how design can play a role in transforming and reinvigorating their cities.”
Participating mayors include Matthew Appelbaum of Boulder, Colo.; Sara Presler of Flagstaff, Ariz.; Helene Schneider of Santa Barbara, Calif.; Mary Ann Lutz of Monrovia, Calif.; Jim Dear of Carson, Calif.; Alicia Aguirre of Redwood City, Calif.; Stephen DonCarlos of Baytown, Texas; and Gale Pospisil of New Braunfels, Texas.
UH’s Gerald D. Hines College of Architecture will host the conference’s opening reception at 5:15 p.m., Feb. 1. Dana Cuff, professor of architecture at the University of California, Los Angeles and Director of CityLab will deliver the event’s keynote lecture at 6:00 p.m. While the conference is open only to mayors, the public is invited to the lecture and reception.
MICD began in 1986 and is a National Endowment for the Arts Leadership Initiative. The annual event is a partnership between the American Architectural Foundation and the United States Conference of Mayors. Each year, partner organizations coordinate institute sessions across the country. Houston is hosting this event for the first time. For more details, visit http://www.micd.org/.
As part of UH’s Gerald D. Hines College of Architecture, the Community Design Resource Center works to enhance the communities throughout the Houston region through design, research, education and practice. The center addresses issues of community development, design, planning, affordable housing and civic projects in partnership with communities.
The Gerald D. Hines College of Architecture offers bachelor’s and master’s degrees in a variety of disciplines including architecture, space architecture, interior architecture and industrial design. Faculty members include esteemed professionals in the architectural community, as well as award-winning academic veterans. Facilities include studio spaces, the new Materials Research Collaborative, computer labs and the Burdette Keeland Jr. Design Exploration Center. To learn more about the college, visit http://www.arch.uh.edu/.