SDAT Tampa

Sustainable Design Assessment Team Connecting Tampa

American Institute of Architects, Communities by Design | 2008, Tampa, FL.

In 2008, The Urban Charrette, applied for and received a Sustainable Design Assessment Team (SDAT) grant from the American Institute of Architects Center for Communities by Design. The SDAT grant program connects communities with teams of technical experts chosen to provide applied expertise to urban design problems, with a focus on social, economic, and environmental sustainability.

The Tampa SDAT, Connecting Tampa, was focused on the improvement of the neighborhood planning process to create a more user friendly planning framework to enable interested and committed citizens and civic organizations to take a greater role in planning for sustainability where they live.

The Tampa SDAT contained two primary components, the preliminary visit and the full-team visit. The preliminary visit was held in August 2008, during which the SDAT Team Leader, Wayne Feiden, FAICP and AIA Staff Liaison, Marsha Garcia, visited with stakeholders and discussed issues currently facing Tampa and its neighborhoods in the areas of economic development, neighborhood and social issues, transportation, and environmental protection.

Following the visit, Mr. Feiden selected a team of professional volunteers to return in November 2008 for the three-day SDAT visit. The selected SDAT Team consisted of architects, planners, an arts expert, an elected official, and a director of a community non-profit. These diverse backgrounds allowed the SDAT Team to examine community connectivity in Tampa as it related to neighborhoods, mobility, urban design, local institutions, and the arts.

During the SDAT visit, a series of stakeholder meetings and two public workshops were held to collect public input. What was learned during the visit became the basis of a final report, which outlined a series of short term strategies and long term goals that, if accomplished, would put Tampa on the path to sustainability.

Implementation of the recommendations in the SDAT Report has continued to remain a priority of the Urban Charrette, which is evidenced in much of our educational programming. In addition, the online platform that was used during the events of SDAT has turned into Connecting Tampa, which is now used as our primary social networking site.