Center for Communities by Design

Communities all over the world are struggling to build effective strategies to address their key challenges: from climate change and equity to housing and revitalization.

A majority of the world’s people now live in urban areas. In the coming decades, the population of global city dwellers will balloon to over 6 billion. Yet traditional approaches to city-building are demonstrably inadequate to meet our most pressing challenges. They are too often characterized by top-down decision-making, silos across professions, politicized dialogues, and conflict in governance.

The solutions are in our communities

The Communities by Design (CxD) program was designed to provide a ready, applicable model to overcome these challenges and provide communities with a path to success. Through decades of work in hundreds of communities with tens of thousands of volunteers and citizens, CxD Design Assistance Teams have proven that communities are at the heart of solutions to the world’s most pressing issues.

Every project is community-driven with meaningful public participation and an intensive process to match professional expertise with public values and aspirations for a place. Design Assistance Teams are made up of volunteer architects and other professionals with expertise customized to fit the local community context.

Through a series of community tours, public workshops, and design studios, our teams work with communities to create an action plan with phased, implementable recommendations for the future. The process results in strategies that integrate the entire community in the implementation effort, often spurring momentum for dramatic transformations to begin immediately. Start your community’s journey today!

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