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News > Advancing Architecture and Design > Advocating for Design in Philadelphia

Advocating for Design in Philadelphia



Our 2022 Advocacy Accomplishments

AIA Philadelphia is committed to advocating at the local level to advance architecture and design, to lead on climate action, and to prioritize equity and justice. In order to ensure that all people benefit from the built environment, AIA Philadelphia has lobbied for more affordable housing, environmental justice, and public spaces and amentities that improve public health. Additionally, we work with elected officials and government agencies reduce the impact of climate change by advocating for energy efficient building practices, promoting renewable energy sources, and supporting green infrastructure.  Through this commitment to advocacy, AIA Philadelphia is working to create a more equitable and sustainable built environment.

In 2022, AIA Philadelphia participated in advocating on the following issues:

  • Building Permit Extension Legislation – AIA Philadelphia advocated for City Council to draft and introduce legislation which passed and allows an additional six months before building permits expire.
  • Landscaping Legislation – AIA Philadelphia helped improve a City Council legislation that passed which requires trees planted or a fee in lieu for removing any trees during construction projects.
  • Transit Oriented Development Legislation – AIA Philadelphia testified in support of City Council legislation that passed which expands the number of Transit Oriented Development Districts in Philadelphia.
  • CPACE Legislation – AIA Philadelphia testified in support of City Council legislation that passed which expands the PA CPACE program to include residential projects and thus allows them to better finance energy efficiency improvements.
  • Adjacent Property Legislation – AIA Philadelphia helped improve City Council legislation that passed which helps protect rowhomes during adjacent demolition by requiring a new excavation license and permit and safety manager on site.
  • Civic Design Review Advocacy – AIA Philadelphia formed a task force which met with various stakeholders concerned about the ineffectiveness of current Civic Design Review practices, and subsequently the Philadelphia Planning Commission made several reforms designed to improve the process.
  • City Hall Advocacy Day – AIA Philadelphia organized virtual conversations with five Philadelphia City Council Members and over two dozen AIA members, and have begun plans for next one.
  • BuildPhilly Mayoral Forum – AIA Philadelphia organized several planning sessions for a Philadelphia mayoral candidates forum in March 2023 with two dozen stakeholder organizations involved (more details below).

We accomplish this work through our member leaders both on the Board of Directors and in our Committees. A special thanks to our leaders for this important work:

Kevin Malawski, AIA, LEED AP, NCARB, Karbon Architects, Board Director of Advocacy

Brian Smiley, AIA, CDT, LEED BD+C, HOK, President-Elect of AIA Philadelphia Board

David Hincher, AIA, LEED BD+C, Nelson, Board Director of Susintability and Preservation

Chris Stigler, AIA, NCARB, LEED AP, Blackney Hayes, Committee Chair of L&I Committee

Danielle Fleischmann, AIA, WELL AP, Committee Chair of the Committee on the Environment

Roshni Krishnan, WELL AP, Committee Chair of the Committee on the Environment

John Hawkins, Philadelphia Strategies

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