Catalyzing Local Leadership and Infrastructure Development
Scott Loveridge and L. Christopher Plein
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 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