Our legacy and record of success

By Paola Capo posted 03-01-2021 01:59 PM


The Communities by Design (CxD) program is the single most impactful investment ever made in communities by the AIA and one of the largest sustained investments ever made in urbanism.

Our legacy

The Center for Communities by Design reflects decades of work in hundreds of communities with tens of thousands of volunteers and citizens. It has catalyzed adaptation of its innovative approach to communities through training activities, guidance and resources for members, partner organizations and others. This has fueled thousands of additional processes and a global urban movement. The community outcomes have created international renown for places like the Pearl District in Portland, Santa Fe’s Railyard District and East Nashville. Today, the initiative encompasses direct work in over a dozen countries across 5 continents, including communities in 47 US states. It has directly influenced the adaptation of its democratic methodologies in processes all over the world, profoundly impacting how our profession approaches communities.

Recognized Excellence

Communities by Design projects are consistently recognized for excellence in the field and the positive impact they have on communities. During the past decade, our program has received numerous awards, including:

  • Organization of the Year, Core Values Awards, International Association for Public Participation, 2010
  • Platinum Award, Facilitation Impact Awards, International Association of Facilitators, 2013
  • ‘Power of A’ Silver Award, ASAE, 2013
  • Outstanding Program Award, Community Development Society, 2015
  • Excellence in Social impact Design Awards, Inscape Publico, 2015
  • Silver Award, Facilitation Impact Awards, International Association of Facilitators, 2016
  • Social Advocacy Award, American Planning Association – Massachusetts Chapter, 2016
  • Excellence in Sustainability Award – Partner, American Planning Association, 2017
  • Gold Award, Facilitation Impact Awards, International Association of Facilitators, 2018
  • ‘Power of A’ Silver Award, ASAE, 2018
  • Leadership in Sustainability Award, American Planning Association, 2019