035: How to design a city, company, and good communities with Mel Price of WPA.
As one of the co-founders of WPA, Mel Price brings a unique perspective on community, work, and inclusiveness. WPA is a multi-disciplinary architecture and urban design firm in Norfolk that has worked on dozens of important projects in the city.
During an enlightening conversation, Mel shares her experience of navigating the challenges brought on by the pandemic. From striving to support small businesses in Norfolk to creating robust public spaces, her team's versatile actions during the crisis have fostered lasting relationships and architectural developments.
Mel Price and WPA serve as a resource for developers and architects across Norfolk via an urban design contract with the Norfolk City Government. The firm's design philosophy is rooted in the idea of an open door, open architecture, and fostering sustainable growth.
We delve into WPA's commitment to employee growth, with an open books policy and a pathway to ownership for team members. Their unique approach to pro-bono projects and community-first initiatives contributes a huge amount to Norfolk’s urban design..
WPA has worked extensively on the St. Paul's project, aiming to undo generations of concentrated poverty and trauma. With elements like a redesigned road network and salt-tolerant green infrastructure, this groundbreaking project encapsulates the concept of resilience in urban development.
The discussion continues into the challenges and opportunities presented by the need for middle density housing in Norfolk. Mel highlights her work on the Missing Middle Pattern Book, the beloved "Norfolk Six Pack" typology, and how addressing obstacles such as parking requirements, can create inclusive, thriving neighborhoods.
Join us in this riveting episode that demonstrates the impactful work Mel Price and her team at WPA are engaged in to shape and invigorate Norfolk and the 757.