Community by Caitlin Moultroup
Community, it’s a word that we hear almost daily, whether referring to a local municipality, a church congregation, or a group of blocks that form a neighborhood. Community by definition requires two ingredients: people and place. A few years ago I had the privilege of attending a lecture by world renowned architect, theorist, and urban planner Léon Krier. He discussed the value of the human-centered city and the discourse between place, buildings, towns, and people. Throughout the lecture the passion that fueled my interest in architecture and place-making from a young age was reawakened. I was reminded where people exist, a built environment must exist; how can architecture and urban design facilitate and promote the growth healthy communities – the ongoing conversation between people and the built environment?
When I moved to Savannah in 2004, I was enamored by its charm. It was the perfect place to study architecture, historic preservation, and urban planning. Even after graduating, I couldn’t pull myself away; I was fortunate to accept a position as a public servant, working for the City of Savannah, where I could continue to invest in the future of this community. During my time with the City I was able to gain a great deal of invaluable perspective about the things that make Savannah a great community, as well as the areas that could be improved. Thanks to the experience and support I received from the City of Savannah, I was also able to achieve my childhood goal of obtaining my architectural license.
In February, I joined the team at Gunn Meyerhoff Shay, a firm interwoven into Savannah’s history of urban development and the creation of landmark districts. Earlier this year, as I listened to Eric Meyerhoff speak about the development of the Savannah River walk, it dawned on me that I have become part of a community that has truly shaped Savannah. In effort to better contribute to the Gunn Meyerhoff Shay team and the influence it has on shaping the community of Savannah, I recently decided to pursue accreditation with the Congress for New Urbanism (CNU). The CNU is the leading organization promoting walkable, mixed-use neighborhood development, sustainable communities and healthier living conditions. In October I begin the process moving towards CNU accreditation. I’m looking forward to what this opportunity and my experience at Gunn Meyerhoff Shay will bring to both my personal and professional development, but most of all how it can help me contribute to the community that is Savannah.
Caitlin Moultroup, AIA, NCARB