E+ Green Communities Symposium

Roxbury Community College, Boston, MA, by Biruitorul, WikipediaThis article is the first of a two part story on Mayor Menino’s E+ Green Building Demonstration Program. Check back for more news after the upcoming community charette!

On Thursday night, Roxbury Community College hosted the first of a two part program focused on best practices for the development of green communities, as a follow up to the Boston Redevelopment Authority’s recent design competition, which awarded three winning designs. Thursday’s E+ Green Communities Symposium featured projects and commentary from Katie Swenson, Vice President of Design at Enterprise Community Partners, Chris Reed, Principal at StoSS Landscape Urbanism, and Phillip Thompson, Associate Professor of Urban Politics at MIT.

The symposium focused primarily on issues of community design and “place making”, grassroots organization, interactive public space, and affordable housing. Easily the most energetic speaker of the night was Mr. Thompson, who shared stories about the, what would today be called “green”, practices of his family during his adolescence, but to them, they were just trying to save money. Through stories such as these, he was able to lead the audience into a discussion on the importance of including residents of low-income communities in revitalization projects, rather than making theme passive recipients of these benefits.

The panel further discussed the value of this concept, and how architects and planners need to broaden their views of low-income communities, and think about how revitalization projects effect jobs, training, education and participation, not just health and beautification. For more information on the E+ Green building Demonstration Program, follow this link to the BRA’s news webpage.

Be sure to check back with UrbDeZine Boston for more news after the upcoming community charette, Saturday, March 10th, at Roxbury Community College from 9am-1pm. The charette is free, and open to the public!


Multi-Purpose Room, Reggie Lewis Center, 1350 Tremont Street, Roxbury Crossings

Photo: Roxbury Community College, Boston, MA, by Biruitorul, Wikipedia published under Creative Com. lic.

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Profile photo of Aaron Trahan About Aaron Trahan

Aaron is an intern-architect in downtown Boston, with experience on projects ranging from single family affordable housing to master planning and large scale developments. He received his Masters in Architecture from Northeastern University in 2011, with a thesis focus on thermally active surfaces in architecture, and affordable housing renovation.

Aaron is extremely passionate about sustainable philosophy being successfully integrated into practice and design, and is a strong advocate for sustainable affordable housing, community development, and urban agriculture.

You can typically find Aaron riding his bicycle around Boston, looking for a quiet place to read and catch up on work. He believes in using architecture to improve the quality of people’s lives, and is currently a member of the BSA Housing Committee.