March 22, 2016

Contact: Brenda Flood

Cal Poly College of Architecture and Environmental Design
Selected as Member of the National Resilience Initiative Network

SAN LUIS OBISPO — Cal Poly’s College of Architecture and Environmental Design (CAED) will aid in a national effort to make our cities safer and more resilient. Cal Poly is one of three universities newly selected by the American Institute of Architects Foundation (AIAF), the American Institute of Architects (AIA) and the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA) to join the National Resilience Initiative (NRI).

The NRI is a network of community- and university-based design studios dedicated to helping communities become better prepared for natural disasters and climate change. Cal Poly joins the University of Minnesota Center for Sustainable Building Research, Hampton University in Virginia, the New Jersey Institute of Technology Center for Resilient Design, the Mississippi State University Community Design Studio, and the University of Arkansas Community Design Center.

“The NRI studios represent the six regional areas of need for resilience planning within the 10 federal regions designated as at-risk for the effects of disaster by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA),” said Architects Foundation Executive Director Sherry-Lea Bloodworth Botop. “These six members will form a strong resilient studio network backbone that can serve as a point of entry to decision-makers and stakeholders who need to access design solutions to pressing issues in resilience.”

For more than a decade, the CAED has engaged and promoted resilient design activities, through curriculum, studios, projects, internships and research. The nationally recognized Environmental Design Studies sequence, Sustainable Environments Minor and the Integrated Project Delivery (IPD) studios introduce students to the linkage between eco-systems and the built environment.  This award will significantly expand the work currently being done by the college’s dedicated research center, the Resilient Communities Research Institute (RCRI), and will foster partnerships with industry leaders with a mission to advance city resiliency.

“As the NRI’s Western U.S. network partner, our resilience efforts will serve as national models recognized for their educational quality and community impact,” said College of Architecture and Environmental Design Dean Christine Theodoropoulos.

The National Resilience Initiative was established in 2013 as a joint program of the AIA and the Architects Foundation with partners that include the Rockefeller Foundation’s 100 Resilient Cities, the Clinton Global Initiative, the Association for Collegiate Schools of Architecture, and Public Architecture. The first annual convening of all six NRI charter members will take place this summer in Washington, D.C.

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