This month your President and Treasurer represented the El Paso Chapter at the AIA National Grassroots in Washington D.C. Primary point that seemed to come through in most presentations is that the built environment is the greatest global issue, but if done correctly, should also be the greatest factor to future global success. By 2050, our population is anticipated to reach 9.7 billion. Cities must recentralize, urbanize and revitalize. If an increase of 2.7 billion people is allowed to sprawl out over the globe from now unit 2050, our resources will be abused; their rapid expenditure will continue global warming; and available resources will not have the capacity to develop resilient cities that can sustain natural disasters and acts of terror.
It was not represented as a doom and gloom scenario at Grassroots, rather they placed emphasis on the ever important role of the master architect. We must continue to instruct on the importance of centralizing resources in low impact urban centers. These urban centers should focus on the reuse of the existing built environment and stay away from demolition and new construction as much as possible. These reestablished city centers must be healthy and vibrant. They must be adaptable and flexible; we will not be able anticipate all types of disasters in our cities however healthy cities have a better chance at surviving the unknown.
We must guide our municipalities towards healthy communities. We must also make them aware that infrastructure includes buildings. Municipal funding primarily goes towards infrastructure that runs outside of property lines, but if it does not extend into healthy buildings then our communities will continue to be victims of natural disasters and terror.
Clients and local officials need to know that Architects are a resource that is needed in abundance. Please continue to work hard and practice good Architecture.
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AIA El Paso - President
Rene Melendez AIA