COTE: The Sustainability-Equity Continuum in Building and Communities


Friday, September 25, 2020
12:15 PM - 1:15 PM


Sustainability and equity have a direct and sometimes counter-intuitive relationship, which is often overlooked. This continuum is one that should be highly monitored by the profession to further the discourse required in advancing both. Equity should be as intrinsic to design as sustainability. How can designs move the needle forward along this continuum and promote excellence in reaching aspirational goals?

COTE highlights the open-ended design excellence through multiple criteria of sustainability. Its open-ended nature perhaps is a way to connect to more equitable practices (which is a measure in the AIA Framework for Design Excellence). 

This session aims to briefly analyze this continuum and propose further opportunities for COTE to erase the line between equitable sustainability and sustainable equity that becomes systemic. Sustainable measures that positively impact everyone, will have an even greater positive impact on the disenfranchised. With equity as an overarching goal, we begin to reach a higher level of sustainability.


1 LU


Ralph Raymond, AIA, NOMA

Ralph is a Haitian-born architect and presently an associate with HOK in their Atlanta office. He is the current president of the Atlanta chapter of the National Organization of Minority Architects (NOMA). He was the recipient of the AIA Atlanta’s John R. Busby Jr Award in 2019 for his AIA leadership and community involvement.