Mayor Ron Nirenberg

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Published on Friday, September 11, 2020


CONTACTS: District 1: Lawson Picasso, Cell: (361)-960-5493
AIA San Antonio: Torrey Stanley Carleton, (210) 316-8073,


SAN ANTONIO (September 11, 2020) – Climate change is a global crisis with impacts felt locally here in San Antonio. Circumstances related to increasing new construction, asphalt and concrete all contribute to heat island effect. San Antonio is uniquely exposed to lengthy periods of severe heatwaves. The discomfort and risk of extensive sun exposure discourages pedestrian mobility while also putting those with no other option at risk. Our most vulnerable population – children, outdoor workers, seniors, and displaced individuals are in need of relief from the common climate and high temperatures in San Antonio.
Recognizing an opportunity to address the need, San Antonio’s District 1 City Councilman, Roberto C. Treviño, in partnership with Centro, the downtown public improvement district, and AIA San Antonio, the local chapter of The American Institute of Architects, developed and announced a design competition to find a thought and innovative solution for Shade Equity.
“Everyone needs and deserves access to shade,” stated Councilman Trevino. “Not only can it be the difference between life and death, but shade also has a direct impact on the economic health of cities. Predictions estimate that daily temperatures will rise two to three degrees by 2050. Expanding shade-giving infrastructure is a tool that can aid cities like San Antonio in reducing their thermal load while also reinforcing a healthy, walkable environment in our downtown core.”
“Decades ago, most downtown buildings included street-side canopies that shaded streets for citizens,” commented Matthew p. D. Brown, CEO of Centro. “As those were lost over time, sidewalks weren’t as inviting. A key goal of this project is to incentivize walking – shade is a critical component in that effort.”
On September 14 at 12 Noon a virtual conversation between the competition organizers will explore why cities should consider investing in Shade as Public Infrastructure. Panelists will include Roberto C. Trevino, District 1 City Councilman, Matt Brown, CEO of Centro and architect Jay Louden, AIA, representing AIA San Antonio.  Their conversation is designed to spark a larger community conversation about the possibilities offered by each of the design solutions put forth by the architects. From September 14 to September 22, the citizens of San Antonio are invited to view and comment on each of the solutions on display in the virtual Shade Equity Design Competition Gallery.
“It is critical that citizens participate, so that we can better respond to their needs and desires,” stated Councilman Trevino. “We want to invest in a solution that will not only offer shade, but also inspire pride in our community.”
To learn more about the Shade Equity Design Competition, visit            `

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