The Regional and Urban Design Assistance Team (R/UDAT) program was the first institutional effort by a professional association to engage in participatory design work. It had an enormous impact on communities, the AIA, and the profession today.
The AIA started the R/UDAT program and supported many of its efforts to establish Community Design Centers in cities around the country -- all of this activity was inspired by the civil rights movement and fueled the development of the democratic practices we use today in cities.
In 1985, two of AIA's leaders in the R/UDAT movement (David Lewis & Peter Batchelor) wrote Urban Design in Action, which captures the impact of the program's early years. (David also founded the first urban studio program in the U.S., and then founded the first urban design firm in the US, which he incorporated R/UDAT principles into).
At the time of its writing, no one else was doing participatory work on such a broad scale in so many different places, and tons of firms and organizations started modeling the process and creating their own charrette-style processes as a result. As the authors note (among many profound quotes), "The R/UDAT program, apart from its impact on the nation's cities, is an important threshold within the architectural profession. The AIA can no longer deny that its most successful public demonstration is in urban design, not architecture."
Here is a link the book, which is no longer in print.#BestPractices #CaseStudies #Research #RegionalandUrbanDesignCommittee #Reports/Essays #CommitteeontheEnvironment #CommitteeonDesign #Articles #Books