Development typically prioritizes profit and efficiency over community and equity. Because the user is not adequately engaged before development begins, city growth often only serves a limited demographic and results in generic design. This type of growth overlooks the opportunity for our urban spaces to be agents of change and resilience and instead reinforces underlying structural inequalities.
A new methodology of urban development is needed. One that reorders the process by centering the voices of the community first, and then designs program and pro forma to match. Allowing the community to have agency in how their city evolves will result in urban areas that fit the legacy of a place and empower the people who live in it.
CONNECTIONS is an architect-led design initiative that facilitates socially responsible urban development conversations and for sites not yet developed. We gather designers, community members, local leaders, and stakeholders together to provide insight, ideas, and action plans towards ethical urban growth.
CONNECTIONS is an extended conversation and design methodology that can address any urbanizing city and its community. By naming each design initiative for the acreage of its site, we apply democratic design principles to all projects while keeping each conversation specific to the site. CONNECTIONS creates a neutral and collaborative space that equips users, designers, and investors with a shared language for a mutually beneficial dialogue around what authentic and equitable growth might look like.