Today's development practices consume enormous amounts of land and natural resources. To help communities plan for sustainable development, the American Institute of Architects created the Sustainable Design Assessment Team program. The program, which is now accepting proposals for 2009, assembles a team of architects and other professionals, such as planners, hydrologists, economists and attorneys, to help communities develop a vision and roadmap for a sustainable future. The teams work with community stakeholders and decision-makers to design an approach that addresses a particular community's challenges -- be it a need for affordable housing, green construction or more transit options -- with the goal of producing a long-term sustainability plan that is realistic and unique to a community's culture. Since the program began in 2005, it has assisted about 30 communities with their sustainability plans. The AIA funds $15,000 of each project, with communities expected to fund the rest, including a $5,000 cash contribution. To learn more about how the SDAT process works, visit