AMES, Iowa — Planning and development specialist Brian Hurd, the technical assistance program manager for Rise Community Development in St. Louis, will talk about building equity and sustainability in communities in a lecture Sunday, Oct. 13, at Iowa State University.

Hurd will present “Rethinking the Future of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in American Cities: Collective Impact Approaches to Address Social Determinants to Health and Improve Outcomes for Housing, People and Neighborhoods” at 6 p.m. in the South Ballroom of the Memorial Union.

His public keynote address will follow an invitation-only design charrette organized to develop regenerative and inclusive housing solutions for young adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).

About the speaker

At Rise, Hurd provides organizational capacity building and management training along with housing development consulting services to nonprofit organizations, financial institutions and government partners. He also serves as an adjunct professor in the sustainability program at Washington University in St. Louis, where he teaches a course on “Planning Sustainable and Racially Equitable Urban Communities.”

Prior to joining Rise in 2003, Hurd was a senior city planner for the city of Norfolk, Virginia, where he specialized in planning functions including housing, community development, transportation and economic development. He has done planning work with underprivileged communities and people with disabilities.

Hurd holds a bachelor of arts in communications from Saint Augustine’s University and a master of community and regional planning from Iowa State. He is a certified Housing Development Finance Professional and a Certified HOME Program Regulations Specialist.

About the charrette

Hurd’s lecture will follow a design charrette organized by Julie Irish, assistant professor in interior design, as part of a larger class project this fall that challenges her students to conceptualize regenerative and inclusive housing solutions for young adults with ASD.

A collaboration between the College of Design and the event management program in the Department of Apparel, Events and Hospitality Management, the charrette will bring together Iowa State students and faculty, facility managers and building owners, young adults with ASD, parents and city officials to gather perspectives and ideas about the wants and needs of the people the students are designing for.

“We want the students to gain a deeper understanding of the many issues and concerns, including  the requirements of the city, the requirements for the parents, the needs and desires of the young adults themselves and what they want as part of their housing,” said Irish, who leads a multidisciplinary College of Design research team that is studying the potential conversion of existing buildings into homes for young adults with ASD using the principles of regenerative design.

The charrette and lecture are supported by funds from a BNIM Regenerative Design Challenge Grant and an ISU Inclusive Initiatives Grant were awarded to Irish and colleagues last year for their Regenerative Environmental Design for Autism Spectrum Disorder (RED4ASD) initiative.

“We’re reusing existing buildings and adapting them — we’re not building brand new and using greenfield sites. It’s this idea of regeneration and sustainability,” Irish said. “These are hypothetical projects (coming out of the charrette), but we’re hoping it will generate interest and that people will take some of the ideas and be able to implement them.”


Julie Irish, Interior Design, (515) 294-8978, jenirish@iastate.edu
Hailey Allen, Design Communications, hallen15@iastate.edu
Heather Sauer, Design Communications, (515) 295-9289, hsauer@iastate.edu