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Community News

Sep 06, 2017

Our house is a very, very, very fine house

Roy header

Image: Urban Housing Unit (uhu) interior. Credit: Paige McWhorter.

I was thrilled when I was elected to be the 2016 BSA president, and I may be the only past president to say this, but I wish it had been a two-year term rather than one! The organization (run by Eric White and supported by many talented staff) and its resources, including those provided by the BSA Foundation, are so exceptional that they made it possible to get an enormous amount of things accomplished.

I came in with a burning agenda to increase the BSA’s visibility as a thought leader of compact, affordable housing. The BSA helped me build partnerships with the City and neighborhoods, gather feedback and get great press on the uhü (our 385-sf prefab mobile housing unit that traveled to eight Boston neighborhoods), finance a major exhibit on compact living, and sponsor the Housing Innovation Competition in Roxbury in which seven developers competed for city-owned land. Phew! It was a busy year!

What amazed me was that while I was focusing on the housing agenda, so much other good work was done to facilitate design conversations in our region and beyond. Staging ABX every year is an incredible feat; holding the Northern Avenue Bridge Competition; creating the Syria Initiative; convening ArchitectureBoston forums on preservation, resilience, and urban planning; organizing the kickoff meeting of Imagine Boston 2030 with 50 high school valedictorians … the list of events was inspiring. As president, I attended many of these and was amazed at the time BSA staff and members devote to making our world better. Thank you, BSA!

Tamara Roy AIA, 2016 BSA president