Founded on April 20, 2007 by two graduate architects, the Urban Charrette opened its doors to Friday morning workshops where the professional community discussed issues facing Tampa’s urban core. Out of those workshops and a subsequent charrette came the organization’s first intervention, Conceptual Kiley. The collaborative asked local artists to create sculptural trees to stand in place of the original Crepe Myrtles that were cut down and thus destroyed one of Tampa’s key parks – Kiley Gardens. The goal was to raise awareness of the park’s past and potential future. The project taught the group that in order to be effective the key would be to identify proactive ways to use the charrette process to create a positive culture of change.
The Urban Charrette’s Board of Director’s was formed shortly after Conceptual Kiley and consisted of an interdisciplinary team of planners, engineers, interior designers, and architects.
In late 2007, the Urban Charrette was awarded a grant from the American Institute of Architects to bring a team together that designed and implemented a sustainability plan for the city of Tampa. The Urban Charrette utilized a multi-faceted approach to assemble a diverse group of stakeholders which represented a cross-section of the city. The goal was to develop an agenda to move Tampa towards a more sustainable city. The team identified five focus areas from the grant process which guides our current programming. These include:
Today, the Urban Charrette is committed to the community through creative interventions. We hope to provide citizens a voice in their city by guiding the design of a shared vision between one’s neighborhood and their local government. We look forward to hearing your voice; to be part of the collective conversation toward a shared vision and your action to help design inspiring places.