The American Planning Association (APA) has recognized the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Sustainable Design Assessment Team (SDAT) program with its 2019 Excellence in Sustainability Awards for its dedication to supporting and growing sustainable communities. The award, given by the APA’s Sustainable Communities Division, supports planners and related professionals in their efforts to foster a sustainable and resilient future. AIA’s SDAT program works with localities around the country to create community-driven action plans that help them achieve sustainable design plans for the future.
Through the SDAT program, over 450 professionals from more than 30 disciplines have provided millions of dollars in pro bono services to over 80 communities across 35 states since 2005. The program has engaged approximately 20,000 participants in citizen-driven sustainability plans. SDAT projects have catalyzed billions of dollars in sustainable development while inspiring community pride and innovative partnerships. Overall, the public service has been successful in building sustainable communities from the ground up.
APA is an independent, not-for-profit educational organization that provides leadership in the development of vital communities. APA includes a professional institute for certified planners, 47 chapters, 21 divisions, and special memberships for students. The need for leadership on comprehensive approaches to sustainability planning is growing. The APA Sustainable Communities Division’s goal is to help planners engage in and collaborate on innovative approaches to this important emerging issue.