2013 Award of Honor: Sustainability Treehouse

Photo Credit: Joe Fletcher


Design for Livability: Sustainable Cities


Thank you to all who attended Design for Livability: Sustainable Cities.
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AIA Seattle, Cascade Land Conservancy, and the University of Washington College of Built Environments supported by Allied Arts of Seattle, the American Planning Association Washington Chapter, and the American Society of Landscape Architects, Washington Chapter invite you to share your knowledge, experience and expertise by contributing to Design for Livability: Sustainable Cities.

Now in its second year, this forum brings our region’s planning, design, development, and civic leaders and advocates together to better understand what we can do to build a stronger future. Today, more than ever, we are faced with environmental and economic challenges that will define our generation, shape our future, and test our resilience. Join leaders from across the region as we tackle these challenges head-on and demonstrate solutions to building more livable, walkable, and healthier communities.

conference information

University of Washington, Kane Hall 120

Reception & Opening Lecture Presentation
UrbanLab:  Martin Felsen, AIA
At a time when there is real possibility for substantial investment in infrastructure, designers have a unique chance to affect change that matters by offering alternative solutions to transform our cities into more healthy, productive and resourceful built environments. The lecture will consider and explore the value of infrastructure as a robust design opportunity to strengthen communities and revitalize cities. UrbanLab is an architecture and urban design firm in Chicago & recipient of the 2009 AIA College of Fellows Latrobe Prize. Projects include residential, new commercial, conversions of industrial buildings, restaurant interiors, and museum installations. Urban design projects include a study for the city of Chicago and a masterplan for the downtown redevelopment of Aurora, IL. UrbanLab is also a research laboratory examining the City and Chicago megalopolis. The project, chil.us, investigates Chicago's status as a global city.

University of Washington, Gould Hall
7:30-8:15a - Registration
8:15a-6p - Program (dowload program schedule at right for details)

Morning plenary sessions include:

Ecodistricts: A Comprehensive Approach to the Development of a Truly Sustainable City
Keynote: Rob Bennett, Executive Director, Portland + Oregon Sustainability Institute
Rob will discuss the concept, framework & benefits of EcoDistricts: how they tie all building in a neighborhood together, create economies of scale with respect to power generation, water re-use, transit, with the goal being for neighborhoods to be truly self-sufficient with respect to water and energy, yet livable and vibrant with regard to retail, culture, urban living and outdoor space. Colleagues from ZGF, VIA-Architecture and the City of Vancouver will provide two case study examples from Portland , OR and Vancouver, BC.

Creating and Activating Great Places
With Karen True, Board Co-Chair, Friends of Third Place Commons and Sarah Phillips, Board Member, Third Place Commons
Karen and Sarah will lead a guided conversation and hands-on workshop that considers how to create, activate and sustain community-based great places that foster a sense of place, and create community ownership. Great places make living and working in a shared community enjoyable.

Afternoon breakout sessions include:

Session 1


  • Great Streets / Great Places
  • Integrating Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) in Neighborhoods
  • Ballard: Small Town in the City

Session 2

  • Creating Livable, Walkable Neighborhood Business Centers
  • Reimaging the City Fabric

Session 3

  • Transforming Traditional Single-Family Neighborhoods
  • 10 Easy Strategies to "Green Up" Your Zoning Code
  • Enticing Families to Live in Urban Centers

Closing plenary:

Cultural Overlay: Incentivizing Development Through Art
A discussion will be led to share creative ideas for the long-term promotion and preservation of cultural, arts, and entertainment activities and spaces in Seattle neighborhoods, and explain how these ideas can be transformed into policy recommendations that can be implemented through ordinance and budget authority. We’ll also explore how the City of Bellingham and the design team conceived of its Arts District as a place for people and how small changes made a big difference. The Bellingham Arts District is now a model of public leadership, community involvement and private investment.

Happy Hour
Join fellow conference participants, presenters, UW Faculty and students together with 50th anniversary UW Alum to continue conversations.





Good design makes a difference

American Institute of Architects

A Chapter of the American Institute of Architects