When Does Good Design Become the Enemy of Great Design?

APA Connecticut Chapter


Friday, October 19, 2018
2 p.m. - 3:15 p.m. EDT

CM | 1.25

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You’ve received a development proposal for a prominent vacant site – and its design does not quite fulfill your expectations. How do you prioritize design standards for the project? When do you say no to it?

This session will use a case study method to work through the design review process for a series of real-world projects, with attendees working at their tables to establish their key design priorities and weigh tradeoffs faced by boards and commissions. Finally, the session will recap the outcome of each case, and how the lessons learned might apply to comparable contexts.

Project examples will be sourced from real-world examples in Providence, RI and Allentown, PA. Examples from Providence will include proposed developments that pose issues of height, density, and compatibility with historic buildings. Examples from Allentown will include projects funded as part of a special taxing district, the Neighborhood Improvement Zone, to spur downtown revitalization. A dozen projects of varying scales and uses, including two public space projects, have completed NIZ design review and approvals.


Ben Carlson

Invited Speaker

Ben Carlson, Director of Urban Design for Goody Clancy, has served as project manager and lead urban designer on a wide variety of master planning and architecture projects, with emphasis on revitalizing downtowns, neighborhoods, and university/innovation districts. Ben has managed much of Goody Clancy’s award-winning work for cities ... Read More

Robert Azar

Invited Speaker

Robert E. Azar, AICP, is the Deputy Director of the City of Providence’s Department of Planning and Development. He chairs the Rhode Island State Planning Council’s Technical Committee, and is an Associate Professor of the Practice of Urban Studies at Brown University. Mr. Azar authored new zoning regulations ... Read More

Kathleen Onufer

Invited Speaker

Kathleen Onufer works as a Senior Planner for Goody Clancy, including on design review for the Allentown NIZ Development Authority. Prior to joining Goody Clancy, she served as a senior planner for the City of Richmond, VA on design review and development regulations, including for public space projects, historic districts ... Read More

Contact Info

Robert Azar, razar@providenceri.com