Community development, urban planning
The 1973 Whitney Young Award recognized the Architects Workshop of Philadelphia for its efforts to bridge neighborhood groups and city planning agencies. Comprised of volunteer architects and other allied professionals, the workshop aimed to help citizens become active participants in the design of their own communities.
“If we are to try to save the inner cities, or stave off their rapid deterioration, it is necessary that the people presently living there have some say in the refurbishing process,” wrote Architects Workshop executive director Augustus Baxter during the award nomination process.
Sponsored by AIA Philadelphia, the workshop served as a prototype of some 100 such groups in the United States, known as Community Design Centers (CDCs). The Philadelphia Architects Workshop received nationwide accolades for its ability to incorporate community ideas and concepts into the overall planning process of the city and region. Operating in a neutral professional role, the workshop and counterpart CDCs played essential roles in helping community clients break deadlocks in governmental programs.