“I have long believed that social change happens in part through people actively participating as designers and builders of their own communities. I am very excited to bring together my skills in community planning and affordable housing design, my commitment to green development, and my passion for my own culture to meet ENLACE’s goals, serve as an Enterprise ambassador, and contribute to the well-being of my homeland.”
Hosted by ENLACE in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Juan Calaf is engaging the community in defining design guidelines for affordable housing projects. The EPA and Office of Environmental Justice recently recognized ENLACE for establishing and implementing a land use and comprehensive development plan that works to improve social, economic, and environmental conditions for eight communities in the Caño Martín Peña Special Planning District. For Juan, his Rose Fellowship is the realization of a professional and personal dream to bring his community design and affordable housing design skills back to his homeland.
Juan is primarily working on a multi-family affordable housing project on the Quisqueya site in the district of the Caño Martin Peña. In 2012, he participated in the planning committee for the 3rd National Capacity Building Institute for CHDOs in Puerto Rico, sponsored by Enterprise.
Juan earned a Bachelor of Architecture from Syracuse University in 2001. After graduation, he worked as a project coordinator for Herman and Coliver Architects in the San Francisco Bay Area, which fostered his interest in community design. In Los Angeles, he volunteered with Rose Fellow Peter Aeschbacher on the Union Avenue Cesar Chavez Community Garden project. There he worked to help community members in a low-income Latino and Korean neighborhood turn a dilapidated garden into a renewed community resource. Juan continued to develop his architectural and community-planning skills when he became the Senior Project Coordinator of Asian Neighborhood Design in 2007, working on community engagement processes, housing policy and sustainability.