Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Becoming an AICPA-Certified Urban Planner

Daniel Hewes recently graduated from Columbia University's Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation with a master's degree in urban planning. Dedicated to his profession, Daniel Hewes is a member of the American Planning Association (APA).

Established in 1978, APA is an organization dedicated to shaping the course of professional urban planning, in order to provide safer and healthier communities, better commute times, and better housing choices, among other things. It is the world's largest organization of planners with at least 35,000 members from over 100 countries. As a professional organization, it performs several functions. One of its most salient functions is professional regulation via certification.

In order to be a recognized planning professional, individuals may apply for certification at American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP), APA's professional institute and certifying arm. Those who are certified by AICP are expected to uphold high standards of practice, ethics, and professional conduct. They are also expected to keep themselves updated by being pursuing continuing professional education.

AICP certification involves five steps. First, the applicant must undergo the required education by obtaining a degree in planning from an accredited institution. After which, applicants need to gain enough experience before applying to sit for the AICP. Once applicants passes the exam, they need to complete the certification process by applying to become a member of the AICP.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

The Need for Green Affordable Housing

Daniel Hewes graduated from Columbia University with a master’s degree in urban planning in 2015. Before earning his degree, he gained experience working as a researcher and outreach associate for The Sustainable Performance Institute in Boston, Massachusetts, which entailed collaborating with the United States Green Building Council chapters and the American Institute of Architects chapters. As an urban planning graduate, Daniel Hewes also has a keen interest in eco-friendly affordable housing developments.

Developing green affordable housing is an important part of creating sustainable communities. Affordable housing that is not energy-efficient often results in high utility bills for residents. According to some studies, low-income families pay a higher percentage of their income to utility bills than medium-income families. This is a serious problem for the low-income demographic since many seniors, people with disabilities, and children fall into this category. 

In addition, environmentally unfriendly buildings may be constructed with materials that are toxic or exacerbate asthma, allergies, and other chronic conditions.