Inklings of promise from the new administration are shining out from the torrent of dire economic news. If you feel overwhelmed, listen up: “I still really admire architects, and I love looking at buildings.” Although proverbial music to our ears, that direct quote might seem innocuous, even simplistic, if it were not for the speaker—the future President of the United States. Barack Obama, responding in an interview with Barbara Walters on ABC television, declared his admiration for the built environment and his concern for energy usage, positions that have been amplified not only in words but actions.
On Saturday, December 13, the President-elect announced that Shaun Donovan, the 42-year-old commissioner of housing preservation and development in New York City, will be appointed the nation’s Secretary of Housing and Urban Development. Again, the President-elect speaks: “Trained as an architect, Shaun understands housing down to how homes are designed, built, and wired,” he said.