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News > Climate Action and Leadership > Featuring COTE's Environmental Justice Subcommittee

Featuring COTE's Environmental Justice Subcommittee

Let's achieve equitable carbon neutrality, together!
Let's achieve equitable carbon neutrality, together!

By: COTE Co-Chairs, Danielle Fleischmann & Roshni Krishnan

AIA Philadelphia's Committee on the Environment is a band of leaders working to realize a healthy, equitable built environment. We educate designers, campaign for policy change, influence design culture, and join forces with other organizations advocating for change. We have 5 subcommittees that work to support the AIA's Climate Action Plan, the Framework for Design Excellence, Zero Waste, Environmental Justice, and the 2030 Commitment. 

Here is some more information about our subcommittees and their dedicated members!

Environmental Justice is not confined to just our subcommittee, but rather should be part of every conversation that we have as Architects and Engineers. It is certainly a part of most conversations at AIA in order to ensure all voices are represented and that representation adequately understands the impacts of decisions and votes and commitments made. 

As a subcommittee, we commit to educating ourselves more on environmental justice issues, its underlying racial justice, and supporting other organizations that champion this cause.⁠ Global warming and environmental injustice disproportionately impact marginalized populations around the world and within our own Philadelphia communities. We commit to use our platform and skills to improve the quality of life for all Philadelphians and advocate for a better world for all.

Just this past year the subcommittee partnered with the Urban Design Committee to daylight the impacts of Urban Heat Island in marginalized neighborhoods with research supported by local universities. The committees also hosted local business consultants and the Office of Sustainability to bring attention to the side effects of increasing or improving City green spaces. The improvements of the Rail Park in Chinatown specifically has led to gentrification and displacement due to lack of affordability in an already divided neighborhood. 

This upcoming year the committee is participating in the Urban Design Committee's book club symposium with ULI to call attention to the lack of resilient design in Philadelphia. We all saw this first hand when the city flooded during that memorable September day. Some of us recovered fine and even went for a daring swim, while others may still be recovering from the consequences of damage beyond their control. As designers, we have a responsibility to create a livable society, a just society, and a sustainable society. 

Check out our Environmental Justice playlist on youtube for some of those lectures or reach out to the group on our Committee page to find out more. 

Special thanks to our particularly dedicated members: Sophia Lee, Leslie Louie, David Hincher, Danielle Fleischmann and others!

The Committee on the Environment is always looking for volunteers in a wide-range of capacities, and we thrive on matching your interests, skills, or professional development opportunities with our Committee's initiatives. COTE meetings are held virtually at 8:00 AM on the third Thursday of each month. Anyone interested in participating is welcome to attend! Subscribe to our Newsletter to find out more! Or follow us on our Committee page and social media accounts @aiaphillycote

 

 

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