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AIA Hong Kong – October President’s Message

Dear AIA Members & Friends:

We are reminded by recent events of how interconnected and reliant on each other we all are while living and working in
the compressed urban habitats of Asia.

At the joint AIA Hong Kong / AIA International Region Asian Cities Symposium held on September 22 in Hong
Kong, we enjoyed a wide ranging discourse about what makes our Asian cities livable, resilient, sustainable, culturally connected to our local history, and economically vibrant.

While we focused mostly on the impact of dense, vertical, urban architecture and the infrastructure that enables our cities to grow, to connect and to accommodate ever increasing populations, we also discussed the basic human needs of the individual.

Several speakers focused on such issues as affordability and health/wellness, including designing methods to defeat pollution in urban areas and battling increasing obesity through enhanced, planned pedestrian mobility. We also discussed the adverse impacts of certain non-integrated patterns of growth – such as mega-scale podium developments that sometimes displace the prior vibrant and culturally rich ground level connections of people and their neighborhoods. Other panelists emphasized the corollary social benefits of “going vertical” and increasing densities when done in a thoughtful and holistically interconnected way.

Clearly, as architects, designers, developers, builders, and as AIA members, we are in key positions to lead and shape our urban environments. We must stay laser focused on creating the most resilient and sustainable long term outcomes for the cities we inhabit – and I believe these end-goals have never been more important than at this critical period in the history of Asian cities.

I hope you enjoyed our recent symposium and that the discussions there have re-invigorated your passion to positively shape our cities of the future.

I want to thank our Institute President, Helene Dreiling FAIA, for her recent visit to Hong Kong. It was wonderful for our Chapter to hear her praise and gratitude for the hard work of our past EXCOs and Chapter committee members for all of their important efforts over the last 17 years.

I would also like to offer our collective congratulations to our International Region President, Christine Bruckner FAIA, for her deep personal commitment to the AIA that earned her a Presidential Citation presented by President Dreiling on the evening of the 22nd September.

I look forward to seeing you all at our future events this fall. Please remember to check our website frequently at www.aiahk.org to keep informed about upcoming local and regional Chapter events as well as a number of other related activities which we support.

With warm regards,

2014 President – AIA Hong Kong Chapter – Christian Low, AIA