Established in 1977, the Association for Community Design (ACD) is a network of individuals, organizations, and institutions committed to increasing the capacity of planning and design professions to better serve communities. ACD serves and supports practitioners, educators, and organizations engaged in community-based design and planning.

ACD is incorporated as a 501(c)3 membership organization and is governed by a volunteer board of directors. Membership is open to both organizations and individuals. The dues collected by the ACD support an annual conference, program development, and the maintenance of this website.


ACD By-Laws

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What We Do






What is community design?
Community design is a movement focused on the creation and management of environments for people. This process promotes change to the built environment from the neighborhood to regional scale, and aims to meet community needs through participatory decision-making at all levels.

What do community designers practitioners do?
Practitioners of community design identify and solve social, economic, and political problems, as they relate to the built environment.

What is the advantage of community design?
Community design helps to establish active partnerships with community residents and institutions, to advocate and develop strategies for improving quality of life. A commitment to diversity and listening to the different voices in a community are core values of community design.

What is a community design center?
Community design centers are dedicated to the provision of planning, design and development services in low- and moderate-income communities. These centers have proven to be a unique vehicle through which a crucial array of services in community development marketplace has been made available.

How many and how many different kinds of community design centers exist?
There are over 60 community design centers in the U.S. alone, and affiliates all over the world. Community design centers include university-based centers, full service planning and design practices, NGO’s, and nonprofit organizations.