University of New Mexico Architecture Professor Michaele Pride has joined the board of directors for the Congress for the New Urbanism (CNU), an international nonprofit organization working to build vibrant communities where people have diverse choices for how they live, work and get around.

Pride, who teaches in the UNM School of Architecture and Planning and serves as the school's associate dean for Public Outreach and Engagement, said, “CNU is undergoing dramatic changes and I’m excited to be a member of the board of directors.”

As an architect and urban designer, Pride’s areas of expertise emphasizes principles of equity, justice, collaboration and public engagement, and she has a long history of developing the built environment in a socially conscious way. After the 1992 civil unrest in Los Angeles, she helped found the Design Professionals’ Coalition, offering assistance to neglected communities of South L.A. She left private practice in Los Angeles to become the inaugural director of the Downtown Design Center at the University of Kentucky in 1996. 

Currently, Pride serves on the Design Review Committee for the Sawmill Community Land Trust in Albuquerque. She has served on several national and international design and awards juries, including design competitions for the Oklahoma City Memorial and the new U.S. Embassy in London. She recently served on the Cincinnati City Planning Commission and co-chaired the steering committee for the 2010 Comprehensive Plan process.

“We are thrilled to welcome Prof. Michaele Pride to a position on our board,” Doug Farr, CNU board chair said. “Her design expertise and years of experience working to give a voice to underserved and under-engaged communities will help us deepen the impact of our work and renew our commitment to building great places for everyone.”

In keeping with CNU’s principles, Pride and UNM have long been interested in making places more responsive to people. To help people understand the concept, the ABQ/UNM CityLab, located in downtown Albuquerque, provided small scale examples of ways design can be used to make places people relate to by participating in Park(ing) Day, an annual worldwide event where artists, designers and citizens transform parking spaces into temporary public parks. American Society of Landscape Architecture students are the driving force behind the project.

In her role on the CNU board, Pride said, she aims “to address issues surrounding equity, and to create places that people love — and places that love people.”