CBT, an award-winning, internationally recognized planning and design firm, has announced that it has made a five-year, $250,000 donation to The Boston Society for Architecture (BSA), which recently launched a new Innovation Practice dedicated to tackling climate and equity challenges in the built environment. Through this dedicated effort, the BSA will work with architects, communities, and other stakeholders to identify and develop solutions with the most potential to protect the future of the city of Boston and its residents.
The BSA’s Innovation Practice aligns with CBT’s commitment to actively bettering communities and enriching lives through design that promotes environmental resilience and social equity. As one such example, the firm is studying and implementing solutions that mitigate the “urban heat island” effect — and other conditions in the built environment that exacerbate high temperatures and poor air quality, and disproportionally impact communities of color. This issue, and others related to climate change and equity, have a complex relationship to existing building codes, historic underinvestment, issues of housing equity, and more. All of these areas are within the realm of influence of the architectural profession.
“We are faced with a design challenge like no other: climate change threatens Boston from the outside, while social inequity threatens it from within. These two problems are inextricably linked, and we cannot focus on just one; both must be overcome,” said David Nagahiro, AIA, Senior Principal and President of CBT. “Throughout Boston’s history, the architects who designed here built it for their moment. Now we have the opportunity to rebuild Boston for this moment, and it is critical that we succeed. I believe that we will succeed, in this incredible city with the most powerful tools and talent for innovation in the country.”
To generate and advance the development of transformative ideas, the BSA is reviewing proposals as part of an Inaugural Request for Innovations. At any given time, the BSA may be involved in 10 or more initiatives. The organization will lead efforts where it makes sense and take a supporting role in cases where architects and designers are best suited as consultants and collaborators. The BSA will provide resources, expertise, professional connections, and more, tailored to each initiative and its needs.
“While these issues may be beyond a single firm’s grasp, they are ripe for an industry-wide, cross disciplinary approach and disruption. We are grateful to CBT for their commitment. To build what our city’s future requires, it will take the generous contributions of many more,” said Andrea Love, AIA, President of the BSA. “We are appealing to all of our members and member firms to join us in this critically important work. Every donation will ensure that the architecture profession here in Boston continues to be innovative, impassioned, and intent on creating a sustainable, equitable future for all.”
Accepted projects may be led by individuals, teams, or collaborative partnerships that bring together individuals from different sectors or disciplines, experiences, and points of view. Selected initiatives will likely span six to 18 months and might involve research, a pilot project, creative engagement, or other modes of work.