Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Meet Fast Forward Presenter >> Troy Hannigan

What is your Big Idea for Philadelphia?
Visitability: Making Homes Welcoming to All

The sight of a single-family home with front steps is almost universal in Philadelphia, yet we seldom consider the downside. For able-bodied Philadelphians pushing strollers or carrying bikes and luggage, these steps create a hazard and an obstacle to ideal city living. But to those experiencing physical infirmity or disability (whether temporary or long term), stairs can make visiting family and friends difficult, if not impossible, and can also trap people inside their own homes. Visitability is what is next for Philadelphia! There is a national and local movement advocating for “Visitability”, designed to educate developers and consumers of single family homes about the importance of building homes in which people of all ages and abilities can enter, circulate, and enjoy. One interviewed resident said that Visitability is like buying an automobile…"I got used to all power windows and locks and now when I go out to buy a car, I need all of those amenities. It’s something that you just don’t think about, but from this point forward, I would look for those visitable amenities". Visitability must be the future of housing design in Philadelphia in order to provide homes that all people can access independent of age or physical ability, and to make everyone’s lives easier.

Email: troy.hannigan(at)
Twitter: @troyhannigan

Troy Hannigan, Assoc. AIA is Project Manager at Habitat for Humanity Philadelphia, where he has been working in various aspects of affordable homeownership development for the past four years. Troy holds a Master’s of Arts in Urban Studies with a concentration in Community Development from Eastern University, where he completed a thesis research project entitled A Place for Visitability in the Market Place: A Post-Occupancy Study. He additionally holds a Bachelor of Architecture degree from Philadelphia University, where he co-founded a student organization within the chapter of the American Institute of Architecture Students called AIAS Freedom by Design (FBD). PhilaU FBD utilizes the skills of architecture students to create design/build solutions for low-income, elderly and disabled individuals. He served two years as the Project Manager for PhilaU FBD, completing two projects including an interior ramp and an exterior path to grant freedom to a 20-year old with cerebral palsy. Troy is a member of the Associate AIA, the Delaware Valley Green Building Council, Urban Land Institute of Philadelphia, and serves on the Philadelphia Visitability Committee.

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