The UNM School of Architecture and Planning presents a lecture and master class to discuss how urban design lessons can be used to redesign suburbs. The lecture, "Retrofitting Suburbia into Sustaining Places," is set for Friday, Feb. 10 at 5:30 p.m. in the George Pearl Hall auditorium. The lecture is free and open to the public.

A one-day master class follows on Saturday, Feb. 11 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. It is free, but registration is required. Email Ellen Steeves to register.

Suburbs, like the urban environment, are blighted with vacant big boxes, dead malls, dying commercial strips, out-of-date edge cities and aging office parks and garden apartment complexes.

Ellen Dunham-Jones, AIA, Georgia Institute of Technology; and June Williamson, RA, LEED AP, The City College of New York / CUNY, authors of the award-winning book, Retrofitting Suburbia: Urban Design Solutions for Redesigning Suburbs, will share the urban design lessons learned from their ongoing study of hundreds of successful retrofits of suburban property types into more sustainable places.

Topics Dunham-Jones and Williamson will address include imperatives for retrofitting – from climate change to public health; drivers of change – from shifting demographics to rising transportation costs; and retrofitting tactics of the three principle strategies: re-inhabiting commercial properties for more community-serving uses; Redeveloping suburban, auto-oriented properties into more urban, mixed-use, and pedestrian-friendly centers; and re-greening underperforming asphalt into parks and wetlands.

Dunham-Jones and Williamson, spring 2012 Pearl Fellows, present additional lectures, hands-on small group workshop and interactive discussions in the Saturday master class through exploration of the historical context for change; tactics for retrofitting; next generation retrofits, metro-scale retrofitting; lessons from the Build a Better Burb design competition; and implementation strategies.

Media Contact: Carolyn Gonzales (505) 277-5920; email: cgonzal@unm.edu