Sustainable Northfield Alert!

November 15th, 2006 by Peter Schmelzer

The American Institute of Architects wants to help communities become more sustainable, but there’s not much time!


November 30 is a deadline to submit Northfield’s application for a visit from the Sustainable Design Assessment Team. This is an exciting and forward thinking program! Read on to find out more.

What’s it worth?

$25,000 of consulting with industry-leading professionals

What does it cost?

$5,000 needs to be put forth by the City or an interested group of donors

What is it anyway?

“The SDAT program is an interdisciplinary community assistance program that focuses on principles of sustainability by bringing multidisciplinary teams of professionals to work with community decision-makers and stakeholders to help them develop a vision and framework for a sustainable future.”

What is it’s focus?

“The SDAT program focuses on the importance of developing sustainable communities through design. It is modeled on the AIA’s R/UDAT (Regional and Urban Design Assistance Team) program, one of the AIA’s longest-running success stories. While the R/UDAT program was developed to provide communities with specific design solutions, the SDAT program provides broad assessments to help frame future policies or design solutions in the context of sustainability and help communities plan the first steps of implementation.”

What will it do for Northfield?

The SDAT process will:

• inform the community of opportunities and encourage them to take action to protect local and regional resources

• help the community understand the structure of the place at various scales and contexts—from regional resources to the neighborhood scale

• explore and articulate the larger contexts and interactions of ecological, sociological, economic, and physical systems

• visualize potential futures

• recognize and describe the qualities of a place by preserving the best elements of the past, addressing the needs of the present, and planning for the needs of future generations;

• identify and describe choices and consequences

• connect plans and actions

• advance the principles of quality sustainable communities

• help the community define the roles of various stakeholders

• develop a road map for the implementation of more sustainable policies and practices.

What do we do next?

I am pulling together a group to formulate an application. If you can help, contact me at sustainablenorthfield –at–

More information (the source of these clips):

Still more information:

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