Date: Thursday, October 29, 5:00 – 6:30 PM EDT 

Location: Video Conference



Member Check-in: How’s Everyone Doing???

Opening Discussion with Kathleen Ison-Lind: Affordable Living and In-Home Services.


Virtual Panel: Wednesday, 11 November 2020Design Excellence in Affordable and Supportive Housing

The AIANY Woman in Architecture and Design for Aging Committees are pleased to co-host these panelists for this event: 

  • Akiko Kyei-Aboagye, AIA, LEED AP, Principal, Urban Architectural Initiatives
  • Rachel Simpson, AIA, LEED AP BD+C, Senior Associate, Magnusson Architecture and Planning
  • Laura Mascuch, Executive Director, The Supportive Housing Network of New York
  • Takisia L. Whites, Director of New Initiatives and Underwriting, Robert Sanborn Development; Principal and Founder, Urban Impact Capital Partners
  • Emily Lehman, Assistant Commissioner, Division of Special Needs Housing, NYC Department of Housing Preservation & Development

Join us for an inspiring presentation and discussion of how shared values lead the way to realizing healthy and affordable housing that will have a lasting impact:


Events in Formation:


Workshop Topic: ADA at Thirty — Accessibility Solutions in Historic Structures– Case studies of successful creative projects that extend the useful life and safety of historic buildings that are Landmarked or in an Historic District. We will make this a one half day workshop (3-4 hours) Speed presentation style of presentations, and Special Project digital publication on the AIANY website. Joint Event w/ Historic Buildings Committee, Building Codes Committee, Public Architecture Committee. December tentative date.


Panel Topic: Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in Senior HousingDATE: Thursday, 14 January 2021, 6:00 – 7:30 PM. As part of the AIA’s Call to Action on Anti-Racism, this panel will investigate the accessibility of Senior Housing to racial minorities, with a focus on not-for-profit institutions, and how their mission statements foster equitable access to affordable Senior Housing. Panelists:

  • Anthony Shitemi, AIA, Principal: Urban Architectural Initiatives

We are looking for three or four panelists who may represent: Senior Housing providers; Architects who design not- for-profit Senior Housing; groups that fund Senior Housing; Community Organizations that work in this area; others? It is imperative that racial minorities be represented on this panel.


Panel Topic: Transportation – Co-hosted with Infrastructure Committee.

A previous DFA Cane and Able program centered on transit-specific issues; a new event could complement that by considering the needs of age vis-a-vis infrastructure? Potential subjects might include:

Street Design: How do cities rethink street design for the needs of seniors?

Paratransit: How can Access-A-Ride or on-demand service be realized more effectively?

  • Sarah Kaufmann at NYU Rudin’s Center for Transportation has done a lot of detailed research in this area. For example her papers: Bringing Innovation to Paratransit, and Intelligent Paratransit.
  • Other Q’s: Where is long-term savings when cost of AAR program is compared to cost of MTA ADA compliance? How can more integrated and immediate technology increase efficiencies and usability?

Digital Infrastructure: How do cities bridge the digital divide for access and community? (especially in the face of intensified challenges like a pandemic or extreme climate event)

  • Greta Byrum could offer an on-the-ground perspective and speak more to tech, access and equity. She led the Digital Equity Laboratory at the New School and is now a leader at Community Tech, which focuses on enabling communities to “have direct control over their digital communications, allowing for greater self-determination and power over their shared digital voices.”
  • Other Q’s: With the internet now as critical as a utility, how can communities be empowered, at hyper-local level, to build and maintain reliable free/affordable service – esp. for the most vulnerable?
  • John Paul Farmer is NYC’s Chief Technology Officer and led development of the recently released NYC Internet Master Plan. He could provide the view from the top and he has addressed this in places like the 2020 RPA Assembly in the component that looks at “Our Digital Future.” Note that a key aspect of the plan is getting free broadband into public housing.

These topics all point to issues that coalesce around how infrastructure planning & design can help improve the experience of independent living. Maybe an event title that concisely sums this up could be something like: Infrastructure & Independence: New strategies to support aging in the urban environment.

This is just a draft of ideas to give us something to explore or push against – let’s have generative, and group- based, dialogue.


Panel Topic: New Models for Senior Healthcare Outpatient “Wellness Center”, Geriatric Emergency Rooms, etc. – Co-Hosting of this Event with the AIA DESIGN FOR HEALTH COMMITTEE confirmed.


Dates – and Adjusted Format and Time: The next virtual meeting would still be held from 5:00pm to 6:30pm.


Save the Date

2020 – 2021 DFA Dates: 19 November (3rd Thursday), 17 December (3rd Thursday) – VIRTUAL HOLIDAY PARTY 2020? 28 January, 25 February, 25 March 2021


Good Reads and More

  • The NYC Architecture Biennial – a newly formed international organization that explores broad concerns of the architect/design professions and organizes presentations about them. They are interested in exploring how to improve cities for Seniors.
  • AIA KnowledgeNet Design for Aging – useful blog for additional news and information.