Viviana L. Frank-FrancoPartner / Co-Founder

    Viviana L. Frank-Franco


    Partner and Co-Founder |

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    Viviana Frank, FAIA, co-founder partner of Able City, is a registered Architect in Texas and New York with over 30 years of experience. Before launching Able City with her partners, she was co-owner and principal at Frank Architects Inc. 


    In 2018 Viviana was elevated into the American Institute of Architects College of Fellows, the first in Laredo, and the first woman along the Texas-Mexico border.


    Able City was born out of her shared beliefs with her partners: first, an able city is one that seeks to enhance quality of life and place through architecture, urban design, advocacy and city making; second, working inclusively and with urgency with colleagues, clients, citizens, and local governments yields exponential results; third, in the inalienable pursuit of happiness, it is in cities that the potential for a happy life dwells. 


    Viviana’s work demonstrates that cities are able to accomplish much for the wellbeing of the environment and citizens. Her architectural experience in all types of built projects, in urban design, planning, and real estate development have been uniquely recognized because she understands proximity to be a powerful economic development tool and a catalyst for all the good cities can do.


    She is interested in helping transform communities that have suffered from a lack of citizen (both public and private) participation in the creation of policy, codes and programs to catalyze cities that are more equitable and sustainable with access to economic opportunity.  Through advocacy, policy, and ordinance writing, and a deep knowledge of and respect for the inclusiveness of the public implementation processes, Viviana is most proud of helping her hometown  establish the City of Laredo Economic Development Advisory Committee, Neighborhood Empowerment Zone Ordinance and Policy, Downtown Tax Increment Investment Zone No.1, Downtown Management District, Downtown Façade Improvement Grant, It Street incentive program for the downtown entertainment corridor. All of which has resulted in millions of dollars of public and private investment.


    Her devotion to the belief that access to a happy life is the main purpose of cities has focused Viviana’s attention to the formation of City MakeryTM, a nonprofit that empowers and equips citizens to develop and implement what they value and need in their city. “We recognize advocates as people who are interested in making a city they value. ” Whether it is a local and just food system, or a more bikeable city, or even a more transparent local government, City Makery shows advocates how to build solutions and together facilitate and implement them.


    By practicing a philosophy that connects people to the places, Viviana is steadfast in her commitment in advancing the mission of Able City and its work to offer powerful solutions for better places to live.


    • Registered Architect with the State of Texas
      • License No. 18185
    • Registered Architect with the State of New York
      • License No. 28985
    • American Institute of Architects- AIA Fellow
    • The Congress for New Urbanism – CNU: Accredited Member
    • Green Building Certification Institute- LEED Accredited Professional

    • Columbia University, New York
      • Masters of Science in Architecture and Building Design
    • Pratt Institute, Brooklyn
      • Bachelor of Architecture, with honors
    • University of Oklahoma
      • Economic Development Institute
    Selected Work 

    • Viva Laredo Comprehensive Plan
    • Haynes Wellness Center and Ground Master Plan
    • Rio Grande River Vega Master Plan
    • LISD VMT School of Communications and Fine Arts
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