In Conversation with 2019 ULI J.C. Nichols Prize Laureate Alejandro Aravena

September 19, 2019 9:00 AM – 10:00 AM Walter E. Washington Convention Center, 202AB Concurrent Session
Open to All Attendees
Leadership Resilience Sustainable Development
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The ULI J.C. Nichols Prize for Visionaries in Urban Development (uli.org/nichols) honors an individual who has established visionary standards of excellence in land use and development and whose commitment to creating the highest-quality built environment is leading to the betterment of society. In this session, 2019 laureate Alejandro Aravena, an internationally acclaimed architect, principal of ELEMENTAL in Santiago, Chile, and 2016 winner of the Pritzker Prize, will explain his implementation of “half a good house” developments for low-income families: when faced with limited resources, the design prioritizes aspects of a home – e.g., foundation, plumbing or higher value site – which are hardest for its owner to change. Within a larger envelope, the owner can build out depending on their means and needs. Deploying this approaching to social housing projects around Chile, ELEMENTAL has seen homes built for 7,000 USD sell for 70,000 USD. Aravena will touch on newer work as well. By designing a building together as a bridge and park over rail yards in Buenos Aires, ELEMENTAL aims to provide residents better access to jobs, transport, and services, and demonstrate how narrow interventions can transform the map of a city. Moderators Bart Harvey and Marilyn Taylor will hold a conversation with Aravena about how American developers and designers can apply his methods to their own challenges, and about the capacity of cities to serve as a “shortcut to equality.”

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