Landscape architect devotes talents to social justice
In Boulder, where the median home value is nearly $1 million dollars, access to affordable housing is desperately needed. Jamison Brown's landscape architecture practice, JB Fieldworks, focuses on the design and entitlement of housing projects that seek to alleviate this problem. "Although a cluster housing development for Habitat for Humanity or Transitional Housing for the homeless may not be the most lucrative projects, they are certainly the most rewarding," Brown said.
As an example, the Attention Homes project seeks to house 40 of Boulder’s homeless youth in super-efficient micro housing units. The simple 350-square-foot apartments will be supported by on-site counseling, job training, community space, and a social enterprise. The statistics behind the project are startling: 168 youth ages 12 to 24 are homeless in Boulder County on any given night; 35% identify as LGBTQ with the top reason for homelessness being family rejection; and 100% are trauma survivors who have experienced abuse and neglect.
The proposed project site is located in downtown Boulder providing easy access to transit, jobs, and services. Brown's role has focused on the site design, community engagement, and the city’s onerous approval process. The site plan application was submitted to the city in January 2017, in hopes of completing construction in early 2018. "As we face greater and greater inequality globally, it is imperative that those of us trained in the stewardship and design of our common resources devote our strengths to helping those most in need. Throughout my career, I have focused on projects that provide more equitable access to resources such as open space, transportation, and housing."