AIA Baltimore Strategic Plan: 2018 – 2021

strategic plan circle

Adopted by the AIA Baltimore Board of Directors: 7 November 2017. Download PDF version.

AIA Baltimore Mission

Founded in 1871, AIA Baltimore serves as the voice of the architecture profession in the Baltimore metropolitan area.  Our chapter consists of nearly 1400 architects, emerging professionals, and allied industry members united to demonstrate the value of architecture and design to communities across our region.

AIA National Values Statement

We stand for equity and human rights

Access to good design is a fundamental right, and architects are the agents of change to make this right a reality. We stand for human and civil rights, the universal respect for human dignity, and the unbiased treatment of all persons in employment, civic, and business transactions regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, physical abilities, or religious practices. Our commitment to tolerance is evidenced not just by the policies we adopt, but in the words we speak, the actions we take, and the buildings we design.

This is why we advocate for protecting and expanding laws that reflect these values, such as fair housing policies, civil rights protections, and accessibility to the built environment for all.

We stand for architecture that strengthens our communities

Infrastructure is more than roads and bridges. It is the public buildings that are the bedrock of our communities—like schools, hospitals, libraries, police and fire stations, parks and government buildings. For too long, policymakers allowed these spaces to deteriorate, reducing safety and diminishing the quality of life for millions across the nation. Architects are uniquely positioned to guide policymakers to make informed decisions about reinvesting in our communities’ essential buildings and spaces. That is why we advocate for policies that invest in well-designed civic infrastructure.

We stand for a sustainable future  

At a time when the world is feeling the damaging effects of excessive carbon in our atmosphere, AIA will continue to advocate for policies that protect the environment by encouraging the design, preservation and construction of high-performing buildings. Reducing the carbon footprint of buildings is not just good for the environment; it’s good for business. According to a 2015 study, from 2011 to 2014, the green construction market generated $167.4 billion in GDP, supported over 2.1 million jobs and provided $147.7 billion in labor earnings. That is why we advocate for policies that lead to energy efficient, carbon neutral buildings.

We stand for protecting communities from the impact of climate change

Global warming and man-made hazards pose an increasing threat to the safety of the public and the vitality of our nation. Rising sea levels and devastating natural disasters result in unacceptable losses of life and property. Resilient and adaptable buildings are a community’s first line of defense against disasters and changing conditions of life and property. That is why we advocate for robust building codes and policies that make our communities more resilient.

We stand for economic opportunity

Architects, the backbone of the nation’s design and construction industry, are entrepreneurs and small businesses. Working in offices, storefronts, and home offices in every community, design firms do more than simply create great spaces: they create well-paying jobs and opportunity. But with narrow profit margins and increasing costs of running a firm, many struggle just to meet their business plans.

We stand for federal policies that help firms thrive, not hold them back. That means a tax code that treats architects fairly, small business programs that provide loans and financing support and programs that give small firms the chance to compete. That is why AIA advocates for policies that ensure small firms remain strong contributors to the nation’s economy.

We stand for investing in the future

A generation of young people is being held back by a lack of access to education and the crushing burden of student debt. Nowhere is this truer than in architecture, where recent graduates are often forced to leave the profession to pay down student loans. Without a pool of qualified architects to design buildings, projects will not move forward, stifling economic development. That is why AIA advocates for policies that provide better access and financing for young people to enter and remain in the profession of architecture.

We speak up, and policymakers listen

Together, AIA members carry a powerful voice for the values they uphold in their practices each and every day. As natural facilitators and problem-solvers, architects stand ready to develop new policies that create a better, stronger, and more equitable and sustainable society. Through a culture of values-based advocacy, AIA members are committed to engaging in the policy-making process and to focus the power of design on solving the challenges facing our great nation.

AIA Baltimore Goals

AIA Baltimore is committed to serving our members and moving our chapter forward. AIA Baltimore, like AIA National, stands up for the values and interests of its members, the community at large, and future architects.  We serve as a resource to promote and enhance knowledge, advocacy, and public outreach for each of these audiences, ensuring a sustainable future for the architectural profession.

AIA Baltimore has set goals in the following areas:

Knowledge

  • Members: Support practice management, business development, continuing education, and expansion of equity and diversity of our membership.
  • Community: Educate the public about design through programs and exhibits and to develop a Center for Architecture in Baltimore.
  • Future Architects: Partner with local schools to teach students what it is like to be an architect and offer programs to help Associate members in their pursuit of architectural registration.

Advocacy

  • Members: Promote small business initiatives, engage allied members and partners, and act as an advocate for the architectural profession at all levels of government.
  • Community: Raise awareness of the value of an architect and how architects can be a resource in community planning.
  • Future Architects: Encourage young designers to be citizen architects.

Public Outreach

  • Members: Organize volunteer and networking opportunities to establish a greater physical presence in the community.
  • Community: Continue public outreach to the local community through our ongoing partnership with the Baltimore Architecture Foundation.
  • Future Architects: Provide leadership opportunities for young designers to be involved with community volunteering.

AIA Baltimore Action

This Strategic Plan is a stepping point and tool for our chapter to use as we continue to support initiatives to increase knowledge, advocacy, and public outreach.  A separate Action Plan has been developed in support of the goals outlined in the Strategic Plan. The Action Plan is to serve as a living, breathing document and be evaluated and updated throughout the years of this Strategic Plan.

About AIABaltimore

We are third oldest chapter of the American Institute of Architects, and have over 1,100 members creating and advocating for great, sustainable design in Charm City!
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