July 31 - PANEL DISCUSSION: “Housing the Middle”

Lecture | July 31 | 4-5:30 p.m. | 112 Wurster Hall

 College of Environmental Design

HOUSING THE MIDDLE: A discussion about the future of housing for the middle class in the Bay Area

Please join us for a discussion with a diverse group of panelists who will share strategies for increasing middle-income housing in the Bay Area. As a region that is at the center of the housing affordability crisis, we look forward to exploring and sharing ideas as we strive to create middle-income housing in our cities.


Jennifer Wolch
William Wurster Dean; Professor of City & Regional Planning, CED

Jennifer Wolch is a scholar of urban analysis and planning. Her past work focused on urban homelessness and the delivery of affordable housing and human services for poor people. She has also studied urban sprawl and alternative approaches to city-building such as smart growth and new urbanism. An early investigator of animal-society relations in cities, she has proposed strategies for human-animal co-existence in an urbanizing world. Her most recent work analyzes connections between city form, physical activity, and public health, and develops strategies to address environmental justice issues by improving access to urban parks and recreational resources.

Wolch has authored or co-authored over 125 academic journal articles and book chapters. She was also a recipient of fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, the Rockefeller Foundation's Bellagio Study Center, and other prestigious honors.

Sarah E. Willmer
Lecturer in Architecture, CED

Sarah Willmer holds a Master in Architecture from Yale University and a Bachelor of Architecture from Syracuse University. Following a number of years with prominent firms, including the internationally recognized Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, Polshek Partnership Architects and Anshen + Allen, Ms. Willmer founded Studio Sarah Willmer Architecture. Driven by the desire to stay intimately involved with the design process from concept to construction, Ms. Willmer brings her diverse background and team-leading experience to the firm’s workplace and residential projects. Ms. Willmer is active in the community and a broad range of design projects. She participated in an artist-in-residency program at the Netherlands’ European Ceramic Works Center to develop a ceramic panel for modern architecture. This work, “Ceramic Skins, Transforming Light and Space” was exhibited in Eindhoven at Dutch Design Week. She teaches and has led numerous architectural design studios. She is presently a Senior Adjunct Professor at San Francisco’s California College of the Arts and a visiting lecturer at University of California, Berkeley. Ms. Willmer moderated a panel discussion at SPUR (San Francisco Bay Area Planning and Urban Research Association) for their Generational Perspectives group on HOME and is an active member of the AIA’s Housing Committee.

Elizabeth “Libby” Seifel
Instructor, MRED+D program, CED

Elizabeth (Libby) Seifel has focused her professional career on creating sustainable infill developments, structuring successful public-private partnerships and encouraging the revitalization of communities. As president of Seifel Consulting, Libby has advised hundreds of public and private clients on how to plan, fund and develop a broad variety of projects that achieve triple bottom line objectives, where sustainability and social equity are pursued in equal measure alongside strong financial returns. She has prepared successful strategies to catalyze mixed income housing communities and build more than 10,000 affordable housing units. Libby actively promotes best practices in sustainable development, urban redevelopment and affordable housing through her teaching and writing activities, serving as the editor and author on a number of publications for the Urban Land Institute and other professional associations. Prior to founding her firm, Libby served as Associate-in-Charge of Williams-Kuebelbeck & Associates, overseeing the firm’s economic and management consulting practice. She also served as the founding Executive Director of Tent City Corporation, the non-profit developer of a ULI award-winning mixed income housing development in downtown Boston. Libby is a certified planner (A.I.C.P.) and an elected member of LAI, the Honorary Society of Land Economists. She was recently honored for her positive influence on real estate development, joining the Hall of Fame for the Northern California Women of Influence in Real Estate.

Sam Moss
Executive Director, Mission Housing

Sam Moss has been involved in real estate for the majority of his professional life, first as a legal clerk handling real estate transactions to his current position as Executive Director for the Mission Housing Development Corporation. Mission Housing Development Corporation is a nonprofit, community-based organization which creates and preserves high-quality affordable housing for residents of low and moderate incomes in the Mission District and San Francisco. Mission Housing Development Corporation provides housing for families, seniors and special needs individuals. Mission Housing Development Corporation also provides technical assistance to help other organizations develop affordable housing that meets the needs of the physically or mentally challenged, and the critically ill. Since 1971, Mission Housing Development Corporation has provided affordable housing options to residents of San Francisco. Now, Mission Housing is one of the largest nonprofit housing organizations in San Francisco, owning or managing 35 buildings. The organization currently serves some 3,000 residents in 1,600 units. 1,000 additional 100 percent affordable rental units are being developed.

Moderated by Rudabeh Pakravan
Continuing Lecturer in Architecture; Director, Summer [IN]STITUTE, CED

Rudabeh Pakravan is an architect and educator living in the San Francisco Bay Area. She is the principal of Sidell Pakravan Architects, an architecture and design firm. Ms. Pakravan received her Master of Architecture from the University of Pennsylvania, and has practiced architecture for over fifteen years. Her built work includes a wide range of commercial, residential and civic projects in San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, and Paris. Her research on spatial tactics of assembly and protest in Tehran was published in Design Observer and presented as part of the “Redefining Public Space” conference at the University of Pennsylvania. “Instant City,” a study of alternative futures for Dubai, was a part of the “Politics of Space and Place” conference at the University of Brighton, and most recently, Ms. Pakravan has collaborated on Little, Big, a series of mile-marking devices along the Pan-American Highway. She has taught at the USC School of Architecture and currently teaches undergraduate and graduate architecture design studios at the University of California, Berkeley.

Co-sponsored by the CED Summer [IN]STITUTE and the Master of Real Estate Development + Design (MRED+D) program.