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20 Feb

Vision Keynote: Pocket Parks to Policy

February 20 @ 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm
2728 Vine Street





1.0 LU/HSW


Ceara O’Leary, Co-Executive Director of The Detroit Collaborative Design Center


Registration & Networking: 5:30 p.m.
Discussion & Q&A: 6:00 p.m. — 7:00 p.m.


Free (registration required): AIA members, students and non-members with no CEU Certificate

$25: non-members requesting CEU credit/certificate

Program Description

Vision Keynote – Pocket Parks to Policy: Strategies in Collaborative Practice and Community-Engaged Design

The Detroit Collaborative Design Center is a nonprofit multidisciplinary community design center based at the University of Detroit Mercy. Over the past 25 years, DCDC has partnered with community groups and nonprofit organizations throughout the city on a range of design projects, from community bulletin boards to building rehabilitation and park design to neighborhood plans.

DCDC focuses on creative and impactful community engagement and participation in the planning and design process. Ceara O’Leary, Co-Executive Director, will share recent community design projects at a range of scales, focusing on methods of community engagement and design opportunities at the intersection of infrastructure, policy, and community.

Learning Objectives

  • Develop and apply community engagement strategies in design processes that target components of healthy communities and respond to neighborhood character and context.
  • Understand opportunities for design in interdisciplinary projects that link policy to the built environment and neighborhoods to create economic, socially, and environmentally sustainable communities.
  • Identify components of healthy, sustainable communities and how to apply evaluation strategies to determine neighborhood deficiencies using the university-based community design center model of practice.
  • Learn about the metrics involved in collaborative practice and methods for developing deep partnerships with community organizations over time.

Speaker: Ceara O’Leary

Ceara O’Leary Detroit Collaborative Design Center

Ceara O’Leary, AIA, is a Co-Executive Director at the Detroit Collaborative Design Center (DCDC), where she leads collaborative community design and planning projects citywide. She is also a Professor of Practice at the University of Detroit Mercy School of Architecture, teaching public interest design and community development courses. She joined the DCDC in 2012 as an Enterprise Rose Architectural Fellow and speaks nationally on DCDC’s work and community design and development.


In 2015, Ceara was named a “Top Urban Innovator” by Next City Vanguard and completed a fellowship with the ULI Larsen Center for Leadership. She is currently the Chair of the AIA Housing and Community Development Knowledge Community Advisory Group.

Event Details

Date: February 20 @ 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm
Time: 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm
Venue: Niehoff Studio
Address: 2728 Vine Street