ULI Philadelphia: Preservation, Affordability, Equity & Culture - The Redevelopment Balancing Act


2021-04-20T09:30:00 - 2021-04-20T10:45:00

Choose Your Calendar


    ULI Philadelphia Virtual Event


    Standard Pricing Until April 20 Members Non-Members
    Private $15.00 $25.00
    Public/Academic/Nonprofit $10.00 $15.00
    Retired $10.00 N/A
    Student $10.00 $15.00
    Under Age 35 $10.00 $15.00
    Refunds can be made available up to 48 hours prior to the event. 
    Driven by the need for affordable housing, recent high-profile demolitions in Philadelphia have threatened historic neighborhoods and cultural assets in an unanticipated way. While historic preservation is a development tool that can be used to stabilize and support growth in neighborhoods, often time communities of color are undervalued, underfunded and see higher rates of demolition than in other areas.
    How can communities and developers work together to leverage preservation and fulfill the affordable housing need, while maintaining the historic cultural fabric of neighborhoods? What are other tools that can be used to create a path towards equity and maintaining ownership by communities of color in gentrifying neighborhoods? How do we address and build trust within these communities? Join our expert panel to discuss these questions and more.



    Laura Spina

    Director of Community Planning, City of Philadelphia Planning Comm / Dept. of Planning & Dev.

    Laura joined the Philadelphia City Planning Commission in 2006 after working as a planner with the City’s Historical Commission for ten years. As Director of Comprehensive Planning, she oversees a team of planners and manages the implementation of Philadelphia2035, the City’s current comprehensive plan. Now that Philadelphia2035 is almost ten years old, she’s leading her team in research to update the plan. Laura was previously the planner for Center City, working with various neighborhood groups and City agencies in shaping the development that occurs in the heart of Philadelphia. Laura represents PCPC on two city boards – the Mayor’s Historic Preservation Policy Team and the Philadelphia Housing Development Corporation’s Percent for Art Committee – and works on multiple citywide planning efforts. She has a BA in Art History from Rosemont College and an MA in American Studies–Historic Preservation Planning from The George Washington University.


    Martha Cross

    Deputy Director, Div. of Planning & Zoning, City of Philadelphia Planning Comm / Dept. of Planning & Dev.

    Martha Cross is currently the Deputy Director of the Division of Planning and Zoning within the City of Philadelphia's Department of Planning and Development. In her role she works with the staffs of the City Planning, Art, and Historical Commissions as well as the Zoning Board of Adjustment. Martha served as project manager and staff liaison for the Mayor's Historic Preservation Task Force, including management of the outside consultants and production of the final report. Prior to joining the City of Philadelphia, Martha obtained degrees in architecture and city planning and worked in urban design and planning consulting and non-profit real estate development. Outside of the office, she teaches an urban design studio in Drexel University's Department of Architecture.


    Dominique Hawkins

    Partner, Managing Principal, Preservation Design Partnership

    In 1995, Dominique established Preservation Design Partnership as a planning and design practice focusing exclusively on offering high-quality professional services for clients with nationally significant historic sites and buildings. Her work is at the forefront of addressing change at historic buildings and settings whether through design, the regulatory process, or the impacts of climate change and flooding at historic properties. From small projects to multi-million-dollar undertakings, Dominique's work has maintained the highest standards of planning, design, and preservation, resulting in long-lasting relationships, some of which span over a decade of continuous involvement and service that has been recognized with several awards. She has served on the Philadelphia Historical Commission, chaired the Architectural Committee and was a member of the Financial Hardship Committee. She recently served as vice chair of the Mayor’s Task Force on Historic Preservation in Philadelphia.


    Adriana Abizadeh

    Executive Director, Kensington Corridor Trust

    Adriana Abizadeh is currently the executive director of the Kensington Corridor Trust (KCT) in Philadelphia. The mission, duty and purpose of the KCT is to help the Kensington community reclaim control over a once thriving commercial corridor by reactivating real estate, fostering local entrepreneurship and reinvesting capital in the neighborhood. The KCT supports sustainable corridor development through thoughtful real estate acquisition, community engagement, broad local ownership, small business lending and technical assistance, and safety and health programming. KCT’s vision is that Kensington Avenue is a safe, healthy, and socioeconomically diverse commercial corridor with accessible opportunities for the existing and future residents of Kensington. Prior to serving as KCT’s executive director, Adriana was the executive director of the Latin American Legal Defense and Education Fund (LALDEF) in Trenton, NJ. While there she expanded LALDEF’s direct services by increasing staff fourfold, raised the organization’s visibility, tripled the operating budget, and boosted overall capacity. All of Adriana's professional working experience has been in the nonprofit sector and she is passionate about serving others. Adriana has a BA from Rutgers University in Political Science with a minor in Security Intelligence and Counter Terrorism. She also has an MS in Public Policy from Drexel University.