Washington, D.C., April 17, 2013 -- The American Institute of Architects (AIA) today announced it has selected 7 communities throughout the country to receive technical assistance under the Sustainable Design Assessment Team (SDAT) program in 2013. The communities selected are Coral Bay, St. John; Covington, KY; Lee County, FL; Livingston, CA; San Diego, CA; Sebastopol, CA; and Tremonton City, UT.
The SDAT program represents a significant institutional investment in public service work to assist communities in developing policy frameworks and long term sustainability plans. Since 2005, the program has provided technical assistance to 68 communities across more than 30 states.
“As the SDAT program has evolved, communities all over the country have embraced and implemented the detailed solutions for neighborhood revitalization, transportation infrastructure challenges and economic development that our volunteer teams have provided after conducting background research and an intensive design and planning charrette,” said Erin Simmons, director, AIA Design Assistance.
The collaborative SDAT brings together architects and other professionals assembled from across the country to provide a roadmap for communities seeking to improve their sustainability – as defined by a community’s ability to meet the environmental, economic, and social equity needs of today without reducing the ability of future generations to meet their needs. The SDAT will work with local stakeholders to help the community create a plan for its sustainable future. To provide the most objective assessment, team members volunteer their time and expertise and are selected from areas outside the project communities.
“This year’s SDAT recipients present a full range of community types and geographic settings, from urban and suburban settings to rural communities,” said Erin Simmons. “Each of these jurisdictions has demonstrated a unique commitment to building civic partnerships and engaging the community in a vision for a more sustainable future.”
SDAT program elements
The communities were selected after submitting an application to the Center for Communities by Design outlining the economic, environmental, and social equity challenges facing their region. The SDAT community assistance program provides the selected communities with these components:
- Preliminary/scoping visit
- Three-day visit from a multidisciplinary team
- A report highlighting the strengths and weaknesses of the community with regards to sustainability, along with the opportunities and obstacles to change
- Consultations after the three-day visit (typically by phone or email)
To learn more about the AIA Center for Communities by Design or the SDAT program visit:
About the AIA Center for Communities by Design
The Center for Communities by Design is the clearinghouse for the American Institute of Architects' many activities—from promoting sustainable design to leading design based technical assistance projects in communities—that influence the quality of life in our nation's communities. The center is a nonpartisan forum that provides information, develops policy, creates partnerships, and assists in advocacy efforts to facilitate discussions of community design and inform choices for neighborhoods, cities, regions, and the nation.
About The American Institute of Architects
Founded in 1857, members of the American Institute of Architects consistently work to create more valuable, healthy, secure, and sustainable buildings, neighborhoods, and communities. Through nearly 300 state and local chapters, the AIA advocates for public policies that promote economic vitality and public well being. Members adhere to a code of ethics and conduct to ensure the highest professional standards. The AIA provides members with tools and resources to assist them in their careers and business as well as engaging civic and government leaders, and the public to find solutions to pressing issues facing our communities, institutions, nation and world. Visit www.aia.org.