Metropolis Perspective Sustainability

Charting the path forward with architects and designers

With a national event series, print publications, and round-the-year digital coverage, Metropolis is building common ground for the A&D community as it grapples with the greatest challenge of our time. Once focused on recycling, reuse, energy consumption and carbon footprints—all concepts relating to physical materials—sustainable architecture and design now encompass human health and well-being, social equity and community development, resilience and adaptation to climate, as well as stewardship of flora, fauna and natural resources of the earth. This expanded mission will help us move away from the abstract rhetoric of “saving the planet” and toward the realization that there is nothing less at stake here than the survival of our species and the continuation of all life on earth.

Perspective Topics


How can we set even higher goals? What are some unexploited opportunities and new initiatives that will take the energy performance of the built environment to a new level?

The A&D industry has been focused on energy savings since the start of the sustainability movement, and this was a core tenet of the USGBC and LEED. Now with the support of both the private and public sector, we are part of policy initiatives and new codes and are finding unexploited opportunities for energy savings and energy generation. What are some of the new goals and priorities for energy efficiency in architecture and design?

Panelists: LPA Irvine, SmithGroup, Shaw Contract, Armstrong Ceilings

2 AIA CEU HSW credits available

This event is free and open to the public; space is limited.

Perspective Register


How can sustainability build communities? How can we integrate long-term cultural and social change into sustainable architecture and design?

In the bigger picture, it is clear that sustainable architecture and design cannot thrive without cultural change and touching the lives of people. At the same time, unsustainable practices only worsen social inequity and pit people against each other when resources are scarce. While social impact is widely acknowledged as an important aspect of sustainable design, how can we measure and validate this impact, and then amplify it?

Panelists: Brooks + Scarpa, HKS, 3form, Teknion

2 AIA CEU HSW credits available

This event is free and open to the public; space is limited.

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How can we adapt to changing natural systems? How can architects and designers stop working against nature and start adapting to it?

In the past, architecture and design have often sought to keep nature outside and to insulate our living and working environments. But those buildings and structures don’t stand up well in the face of the inevitable natural events of fire, floods, earthquakes, or storms, and have a long-term negative impact on the environment that only makes the disasters more frequent. So in recent years, we have changed strategies and are starting to work with nature rather than against it. What have been the successes of resilient architecture and design, and what opportunities lie ahead?

Panelists: HDR, HOK, ZGF, Tarkett, USG

2 AIA CEU HSW credits available

This event is free and open to the public; space is limited.

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