The paper explores the meaning of sustainable development and its effect on the pattern of urban development, then discusses several principles which can be considered while reshaping urban communities into eco-communities, and provides examples of local initiatives for a sustainable future. Several issues that effect sustainability will be discussed as: dimensions of sustainability, the importaceof urban design for sustainability, sustainable urban growth and its pattern, transportation and traffic management, land use planning and housing, redeveloping a community for a sustainable future to create a livable neighborhood, sustainable community urban design principles, with a focus on sustainability in desert Architecture and urban design with the urban microclimate in the desert. Finally, the paper illustrates some national and international examples for sustainable urban design, and presents projects that the term sustainability has been implanted upon them, and get to a conclusion to create criteria for reshaping urban communities for sustainable development.