Principal, Roschen Van Cleve Architects
Bill Roschen’s career manifests the new paradigm of “citizen architect” as civic leader who can engage communities in the thoughtful conversations required to advance infill and redevelopment projects that make neighborhoods sustainable, affordable, livable, and healthy. His appointment as President of the City of Los Angeles Planning Commission culminated three decades of practice. Bill opened a storefront office at the famous intersection of Hollywood and Vine in 1987 with his partner, Christi Van Cleve, and they immersed themselves in the community, serving on the boards of local arts, civic, and youth leadership organizations, while establishing a “place-based” urban architectural practice working on affordable housing, historic preservation and mixed-use transit-oriented development projects that are providing density, gravity and vitality to revivify Hollywood’s once magnetic downtown. It is work that has provided Bill with a critical skill set at a time when Los Angeles and the nation are turning away from suburbanization and privatization toward urbanism, collectivism and a renewed interest in and recognition of the value inherent in the public realm.
Appointed by Mayor Villaraigosa, Bill helped to conceive, implement, and was the Co-Chair of the Mayor’s radically inventive Transit Corridors Cabinet (TCC). With the mission of orchestrating unprecedented collaboration of multiple city departments and community stake holders around the urban integration of 113 train stations soon to be completed, the TCC focused on maximizing this transformational moment in the urban form of Los Angeles. As President of the Los Angeles City Planning Commission, Bill took the lead on introducing for citywide consideration a Health Element as a component of the Los Angeles City General Plan Framework and has initiated partnerships with the County Department of Public Health. He founded the Streets for People (S4P) Program, and is building unprecedented working relationships between planning and health and other government departments. He served in 2012-13 as the inaugural Chair for a national AIA committee, the Design+Health Leadership Group, convening top medical/public health and design professionals to evolve this cutting edge field.
Bill holds a Masters degree in Architecture from Columbia University, with an emphasis on city planning and urban architecture, historic preservation and philosophy of aesthetics, and a Bachelor of Architecture from Arizona State University, with an emphasis on sustainable design. He trained in civic engagement leadership at CORO in Los Angeles. He and Christi have conceived and currently teach a four-part series of graduate seminars and a certificate and Master’s Degree program in crafting forward-thinking public policy at Woodbury University School of Architecture, and have initiated the UP (Urban Policy) program and Policy Tanks, a unique approach to public policy leadership within a School of Architecture. In 2013, Bill was honored for his eight years of city-changing leadership on the LA City Planning Commission with an AIA/LA Presidential Citation and with the American Planning Association Los Angeles and California Chapters’ Distinguished Leadership Award for Citizen Planner of the Year.