Livability Principles

About the Blueprint for America’s 10 Principles of Livable Communities:

The Blueprint for America is a nationwide initiative through which AIA architects engage with fellow citizens, mayors, other professionals, and local government officials to collaborate on a community service program that addresses a community’s distinct need. In 2006, state and local AIA components will propose, convene, and participate in initiatives that utilize community engagement, in a collaborative process, and quality design as keys to improving a community’s livability. These initiatives were developed in 2007, AIA’s anniversary year. In 2008, the AIA national component will compile initiatives and release the national Blueprint for America. Blueprint initiatives are a gift to the community from the members of AIA, and the members’ participation in the initiative is provided at no fee.

For more information on the 10 Principles of Livable Communities visit: http://www.aia.org/liv_principles

For more information on the Blueprint for America visit: http://www.aia150.org/bl150_default.php

AIA 1

Design on a Human Scale

Compact, pedestrian-friendly communities allow residents to walk to shops, services, cultural resources, and jobs and can reduce traffic congestion and benefit people's health.
Design on a Human ScaleCompact, pedestrian-friendly communities allow residents to walk to shops, services, cultural resources, and jobs and can reduce traffic congestion and benefit people's health.

AIA 2

Provide Choices

People want variety in housing, shopping, recreation, transportation, and employment. Variety creates lively neighborhoods and accommodates residents in different stages of their lives.

AIA 3

Encourage Mixed-Use Development

Integrating different land uses and varied building types creates vibrant, pedestrian-friendly, and diverse communities.

AIA 4

Preserve Urban Centers

Restoring, revitalizing, and infilling urban centers takes advantage of existing streets, services and buildings and avoids the need for new infrastructure. This helps to curb sprawl and promote stability for city neighborhoods.

AIA 5

Vary Transportation Options

Giving people the option of walking, biking, and using public transit - in addition to driving - reduces traffic congestion, protects the environment, and encourages physical activity.

AIA 6

Build Vibrant Public Spaces

Citizens need welcoming, well-defined public places to stimulate face-to-face interaction, collectively celebrate and mourn, encourage civic participation, admire public art, and gather for public events.

AIA 8

Create a Neighborhood Identity

A "sense of place" gives neighborhoods a unique character, enhances the walking environment, and creates pride in the community.

AIA 8

Protect Environmental Resources

A well-designed balance of nature and development preserves natural systems, protects waterways from pollution, reduces air pollution, and protects property values.

AIA 9

Conserve Landscapes

Open space, farms, and wildlife habitat are essential for environmental, recreational, and cultural reasons.

AIA 10

Design Matters

Design excellence is the foundation of successful and healthy communities.