Small Town and Rural Economic Development: A Case Studies Approach

By Peter V. Schaeffer; Scott Loveridge | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 3
Catalyzing Local Leadership and Infrastructure Development

Scott Loveridge and L. Christopher Plein


INTRODUCTION

This case study examines communities that applied to receive assistance from a program called the Community Design Team (CDT). It follows the communities from their application to outcomes. 1 The purpose of this presentation is to provide a learning module that introduces the CDT concept and invites readers to think through the planning and implementation stages associated with a CDT visit to a community. After providing a brief overview, we discuss four stages of the CDT process: (1) the applications, (2) the selection and team development process, (3) the site reconnaissance visit, (4) the team visit, and (5) project outcomes.


THE COMMUNITY DESIGN TEAM APPROACH

The Community Design Team is a multidisciplinary group of volunteer professionals who donate their time to communities wishing to improve their future. The West Virginia CDT model is based, in part, on a design charette model, which is distinguished by an intense, short-term visit by a team of professionals to a community or locale. The West Virginia model has benefited from initiatives pioneered by the Minnesota Design Team ( Mehrhoff 1995).

In general, design charettes for communities have focused on tangible and well-defined matters of space and location in a community. Thus, for example, in the Minnesota experience, landscape architects have been primary players in helping to visualize and plan for public space development in a community. The West Virginia CDT emphasizes this component, but in the larger context of

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