AIA-NJ Mayors Symposium

February 5, 2020

AIA-NJ Hosts Mayors Symposium

One issue we as AIA leadership hear often is that the public doesn’t understand what architects do and the value they bring to a project. The AIA has been working hard the past several years to address this concern. Last year, AIA-NJ held its first ever Mayors Symposium which brought together mayors and other township officials with architects and planners to show them how we can help to solve their most pressing issues. AIA New Jersey felt a program like this could benefit our members by encouraging municipalities to have architects on their Zoning and Planning Boards, and making us their go-to people when they have questions about the built environment.
In its fledgling year Mayors and other officials from 6 of our 256 municipalities participated. We had 3 guest speakers who talked about master planning, wastewater management, and urban design, and conducted visioning exercises with the attendees. It was a very successful event, with all the Mayors promising to tell their friends about how great it was. As a result of the symposium, one mayor has added an architect to his planning board as a paid consultant.
We want to expand the event this year, and need your help to invite mayors from around the state. In addition to the visioning exercises, topics of discussion will be how architects can help communities revitalize their public libraries, and how we can help with disaster relief. It will take place at the Holmdel Municipal Recreation room at the Bell Works complex in Holmdel, on March 24, 2020 from 9:30 – 12:30, and includes a tour of the newly completed Holmdel Public library.
Please reach out to Lisa Jones at PSI with the names of the mayors you talk to, and their contact information. If you would like to participate on the committee or on the day of the event, please let me know:
Verity L. Frizzell, FAIA, Chair
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