Re-RUD: Re-Inventing Our Regional & Urban Design Committee

By: Matthew Taecker, AIA, AICP

On March 22, rudder yourself to RUD – AIA East Bay’s “Regional & Urban Design Committee” – to help re-envision RUD’s purpose and potential.

The Regional & Urban Design Committee has been an important component of AIA East Bay over decades. The Committee’s mission is to promote “excellence in urban design, land use/transportation integration, public policy, and implementation” in urban and suburban environments.

In recent years, the RUD program has focused on educational programs. Program topics have included: considering how a building can better relate to its context and understanding financial obstacles to infill development.

On March 22, you are invited to help develop topics for future programs and presentations. To remain relevant, fresh perspectives are needed. For example, at AIA East Bay’s 2017 Member Mixer, participants expressed interest in hearing about:
• master plans for new sports facilities
• the “new town” planned at Concord Naval Station, and
• higher-density housing types that blend with single-family areas – the “missing middle.”

Moving forward, we encourage members to participate directly in framing topics and organizing a related presentation or symposium.

In the past, group discussion have engaged issues and contributed design-based perspectives to important debates. For example, during Oakland’s Latham Square design process in late 2013, we described design strategies for pedestrian-friendly places.

At the Mixer, many members said that they want to be more engaged with local issues. Ideas included:
• assessing specific places for what works well and what needs work
• identifying obstacles to infill development, and
• addressing housing affordability through building design.

Simply put, Re-RUD presents exciting possibilities, but we have to be better organized. I hope you’ll become part of this process.

Matthew Taecker is the Chair of the RUD Committee, and has been a leader in urban placemaking and land use / transportation integration.

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