Celebrating our 50th Anniversary
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50th Anniversary Symposium

The Future of Shelter: Where do we go from here?

As we look forward to the next 50 years, OWA+DP offers this symposium as an opportunity to think together about this crucial question.

In our last retreat, we asked people what they have in mind that is most urgent. The answer was resounding: housing. Many members have been very concerned about the inequality and inadequacy of housing. It is shameful that the wealthiest country on earth has so many homeless and near homeless citizens; why is it that we cannot find the means to provide affordable housing for everyone? Is it due to zoning laws, environmental laws, tax structure, community pushback, poor growth planning, political impotence? One member has just returned from Singapore. Seeing the vast quantity of government-funded housing for all economic classes, we have to ask, how do other countries, with similar GDPs per capata, manage to make a reasonable effort at housing everyone?

  • What are the consequences of housing truly becoming a right?
  • What if we think of housing as health care? or as a conduit for justice or reparations?
  • How can we create housing that is truly sustainable – living components of a healthy local natural ecosystem?
  • How might women architects and design professionals, in addition to influencing physical built environments for living, also participate in shaping the policy and financing mechanisms that drive their development?


    Saturday April 22, 2023

    Tamalpais Room, 2F
    David Brower Center
    2150 Allston Way, Suite 100
    Berkeley, California

    10:00AM - 5:00PM (+ lunch)
    Registration opens at 9:15

OWA+DP Member: $125
Non-member: $250
Student: $30

Boxed lunch provided

Limited seating, ticket sales close April 20, 2023

This is an in-person event. Online viewing via Zoom will also be possible, please email carol@machinaloci.com

Attendees can receive 7 AIA Continuing Education Units (CEU)

Post Symposium Reception:

    Date: Saturday April 22, 2023
    Place: Cafenated Coffee Company, 2085 Vine St, Berkeley, CA
    Time: 6:00 - 9:00PM
    Tickets: $65

As a rule, tickets are non-refundable. Please email carol@machinaloci.com

This event is part of a year-long program of events to celebrate OWA+DP’s 50th Anniversary. Information about other events can be found on the OWA+DP 50th Anniversary Events Page.

Symposium Speakers

Victoria Beard
Victoria Beard is Professor of City and Regional Planning at Cornell University and Director of the Cornell Mui Ho Center for Cities. Beard’s research and teaching focus on comparative urbanization and international development planning.  Her focus is on exploring how planners address urban inequality and poverty. 

In cities in the Global South, communities often plan for themselves, outside of, in collaboration with, and in opposition to formal planning and regulatory frameworks. In response to the limitations of community-based planning, Beard explores the city’s perspective both with regards to basic services, particularly water and sanitation access, as well as to the broader processes that create and sustain city-wide transformation.

From 2015 to 2017, Beard served as Director of Research for the Ross Center for Cities at the World Resources Institute. In this role, she was lead contributor to the World Resources Report, Towards a More Equal City. She has also worked for the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank, AusAID, Mercy Corps, the Research Triangle Institute, and RAND.

Beard holds a PhD in community and regional planning from the University of British Columbia (1999); an MA in urban planning from University of California, Los Angeles (1995); and a BA in urban studies and planning from the University of California, San Diego (1992).

Clara Irazábal
Clara Irazábal is the Director of the Urban Studies and Planning Program in the School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation at the University of Maryland, College Park. In her research and teaching, she explores the interactions of culture, politics, and placemaking, and their impact on community development and socio-spatial justice in Latin American cities and Latinx, immigrant, and minority communities in the US.

Irazábal was previously the Director of the Latinx and Latin American Studies and Professor of Planning at the University of Missouri, Kansas City; Associate Professor and Director of the Latin Lab at Columbia University; and Assistant Professor at the University of Southern California. She received her PhD from the University of California, Berkeley and Masters degrees from UC Berkeley and the Central University of Venezuela. 

The author of Urban Governance and City Making in the Americas: Curitiba and Portland (Ashgate, 2005) and the editor of Ordinary Places, Extraordinary Events: Citizenship, Democracy, and Public Space in Latin America (Routledge 2008, 2015) and Transbordering Latin Americas: Liminal Places, Cultures, and Powers (T)Here (Routledge 2014), Irazábal is also associate editor of the Journal of the American Planning Association and on the editorial board of other internationally accredited architectural and planning journals.

Irazábal has worked as a consultant, researcher, and professor in the Americas, Europe, and Asia. She is a lecturer at Universitat Internacional de Cataluya, Barcelona, and has taught award-winning planning and multidisciplinary studios in Brazil, Colombia, Chile, and Trinidad and Tobago as well as in Latinx, Black, and immigrant/refugee communities in the US.

Karen Parolek
Karen Parolek is co-founder and President of Opticos Design, Inc., an architecture and urban design firm specializing in walkable, sustainable, and equitable communities. Their work has earned a variety of national awards, including four national American Planning Association Awards and two NAHB Best in American Living™ Awards, including the Game Changer, Platinum Award for Culdesac Tempe, the first car-free neighborhood designed for shared mobility and built from scratch in the United States. www.opticosdesign.com

Parolek is a leading innovator and educator in zoning reform across the US and abroad, and co-author of the book Form-Based Codes: A Guide for Planners, Urban Designers, Municipalities, and Developers (Wiley, 2008). Her efforts redesigning zoning codes have helped revolutionize the way we regulate land development in our communities to enable and reinforce walkable and sustainable places. She is Vice Chair of the steering committee of the Form-Based Codes Institute, a non-profit that offers classes, technical assistance and other resources to communities and professionals interested in learning about form-based codes.

Through that expertise, Opticos introduced the concept of Missing Middle Housing, a transformative idea that highlights the need for diverse, affordable housing options in walkable urban places. Parolek and her firm design, enable and educate about Missing Middle Housing as both a critical element of walkable communities and an effective tool to address the needs for housing choice and affordability. www.missingmiddlehousing.com

Committed to developing better ways of running a business, Parolek led Opticos to become a founding B Corporation in 2007 and a California Benefit Corporation in 2012—new types of impact-driven companies committed to a triple bottom line of social, environmental, and fiscal responsibility.

Inés Sánchez de Madariaga
Inés Sánchez de Madariaga is UNESCO Chair on Gender in Science, Technology and Innovation, Professor of Urban Planning at Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, and Chair of AGGI the Advisory Group on Gender Issues to the Executive Director of UN-Habitat. She is a leading international expert on gender in transportation, urban planning, architecture, and STEM, with extensive experience in policy, practice, and research. She is a member of the Advisory Council of the Spanish UN-Sustainable Solutions Development Network, has been Chair of the international COST network Gender, Science, Technology and Environment, and co-Director of the EU-US Gendered Innovations Project. As member of the European Commission Helsinki Group on Gender in Research and Chair of the EC Expert Group on Structural Change, she led the negotiations to introduce gender as a central element of the EC research program Horizon2020. She has been a member of the Scientific Committees and Principal Investigator of a dozen European Research and Technology Development projects. Sánchez de Madariaga has also held public office as Deputy Director General for Architecture, Advisor to the Minister of Housing, Advisor to the Minister of Science, Director of the Women and Science Unit at the Cabinet of the Secretary of State for Research. 

A former Fulbright grantee, Sánchez de Madariaga received her Masters and PhD from the School of Architecture of Madrid. She has been a Visiting Scholar at UCLA, the Bauhaus-Weimar, London School of Economics, and Columbia University. She is author of over 100 articles and editor of two reference books on gender in planning: Engendering Cities: Designing Sustainable Urban Spaces for All, Routledge, 2020, and Fair Shared Cities. The Impact of Gender Planning in Europe. 2013. In 2021, she received the Matilde Ucelay Award in recognition for her professional trajectory in promoting women in transportation, mobility and urban planning granted by the Spanish Ministry of Transportation and Urban Agenda.

Willow Lung-Amam
Willow Lung-Amam is Associate Professor of Urban Studies and Planning at the University of Maryland, College Park, where she also serves as Director of Community Development at the National Center for Smart Growth Research and Education and Director of the Small Business Anti-Displacement Network. She has written extensively on suburban poverty, racial segregation, immigration, gentrification, redevelopment politics, and neighborhood opportunity. She is the author of Trespassers? Asian Americans and the Battle for Suburbia, and a forthcoming book on redevelopment politics and equitable development being organized in the Washington, DC suburbs.

Her research has also appeared in various journals, books, and popular media outlets, including The New York Times, Washington Post, Baltimore Sun, National Public Radio, New Republic, Bloomberg’s CityLab, and Al Jazeera. Dr. Lung-Amam is a non-resident Fellow at the Urban Institute’s Metropolitan Housing and Communities Policy Center and a non-resident Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution’s Governance Studies program.

Symposium Photos

Brower Center, Berkeley California

Morning Session

The venue

Co-organizer Carol Manke

Discussant Willow Lung Amam

Speaker Victoria Beard

Morning session Q&A


Lunch in the Courtyard

Afternoon Session

Speaker Karen Parolek

Missing Middle Housing / Thinking Big and Building Small

Karen Parolek is President of the Opticos Design, an architecture and urban design firm in Berkeley California. Her lecture for the conference was titled "Missing Middle Housing/Thinking Big and Building Small". While we were not able to record the lecture at the time, she has given the same lecture at at the University of Washington which has been recorded. You can watch it at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0XyN5jVPzvc breginning at 8:22 into the video.

Speaker Inés Sánchez de Madariaga

Afernoon session Q&A

Final panel discussion

Post-conference reception

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