WDA is pleased to announce that Community Practice Leader David Plotkin has been appointed to the Design Review Board for the City of Richmond. As a resident of Richmond for the past eight years, David wants to contribute to the positive growth of his community. He hopes to provide value by helping the board carefully balance growth and equity for his diverse community. We sat down with him to learn more about his voluntary role on the board and what he’s most excited about.
Why did you apply for this role?
I applied for the position upon the recommendation of the former mayor. After he left office, I reached out to the new mayor, Edgar Martinez, to express my continued interest in the position. As a result, we met and found that we had a mutual understanding of some of the challenges within the city and I was formally appointed. My first meeting was in March.
What will your responsibilities be as a member of the Design Review Board?
I will lend my voice and expertise to design new development projects and exterior changes to existing buildings. There is some design quality review that comes into play too that will be exciting to help address, such as how proposed designs respond to the physical context and goals of the Richmond community.
Are there any unique design challenges the city of Richmond faces that you will help address?
I’m optimistic: Richmond has much potential for growth, and there are efforts to make the city a thriving, safe place for its residents. However, some areas of the city need help – retrofitting, updating etc. I look forward to the opportunity to play a small part in making these improvements a reality.
How will your appointment contribute to your professional development as WDA Community Practice Leader?
For my growth as Community Practice Leader, it will be an opportunity to see the other side and gain insight into the board’s considerations when reviewing a project and deciding whether to move forward. In addition, this will allow me a new perspective on the inner workings of a public entity client.
What are you most excited about?
I can impact and have a say on the design solutions happening in my backyard. I have the experience and knowledge in architecture and urban design that could be of value to the city, and it will be personally rewarding to contribute my time to my community in this way.