Architects making a difference

“Architects don’t just design buildings. We design systems that can work equitably for cities and regions. It’s natural for us to help government leaders tackle big challenges like infrastructure, public health, security, and the environment. We apply the same design methodology, but on a larger scale.”

—Julie Hiromoto, AIA, principal at HKS

Emancipation Park
Houston's Emancipation Park was founded in 1872 by four formerly enslaved people. A redesign led by the late Phil Freelon, FAIA, of Perkins+Will and local residents has helped spark a renaissance of the surrounding neighborhood.
PopCourts is a pop-up park in the Austin neighborhood on Chicago’s Westside. Imagined as a respite from the challenges brought on by the pandemic, PopCourts provides much-needed outdoor amenity space in the heart of Austin.
Two Pieces of Plywood
This film shares the story of one campaign - Curbside Notary in Kansas City, Missouri. Specifically, how two simple pieces of plywood became a vessel for community conversation and action.

Top stories

The Future of High-Performance Buildings
In January, the White House launched the National Building Performance Standards Coalition, a groundbreaking initiative to increase energy efficiency in existing buildings and improve communities. “New federal actions today, in
How Grassroots Design Is Saving Communities Along the Mississippi River
In 2021, a collection of mayors from the American heartland traveled to Scotland to attend the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26). Their mission? To join global leaders like President
How Can Managed Retreat Be Done Equitably?
In 2012, members of the Quinault Indian Nation in Taholah, Washington, finally decided to move their frequently-flooded seaside village to higher ground. Five years later, they had developed a master
What a Day With Renewable Energy Could Look Like
The first thing you notice in your dream of living with renewable energy is the noise—or lack of it. In the future, when solar panels and other innovations have enabled
Architecture’s Carbon Problem
Architects create about 40 percent of the world’s carbon dioxide emissions, but they can also help to solve the climate crisis.

Featured resources

Courses that fight climate change
These AIAU-exclusive certificate programs and courses will help you achieve dramatic reductions in building carbon emissions.
AIA Climate Action Plan
Explore AIA’s multistep plan to establish actionable steps and provide architects with tools and resources to achieve zero carbon.
AIA Framework for Design Excellence
Understand the ten important measures you need to set meaningful project goals and targets for climate action.

Join the campaign

Show the world you’re making a difference. With your help, we can design a zero-carbon, resilient, healthy, just, and equitable future for everyone.