The Design Workshop Foundation recently announced the launch of its inaugural Community Capacity Building Initiative, a comprehensive technical assistance process designed to advance community action and overcome built environment challenges. the foundation is seeking innovative solutions to building more equitable, resilient, and inclusive places. Communities in the Roaring Fork Valley, Colorado; Piedmont region, North Carolina; and the Houston metroplex, Texas are eligible to apply.
A request for applications opened on April 18 and is due on May 19, 2023. Selected communities will work in partnership with Design Workshop Foundation utilizing planners and designers from Design Workshop. These teams will provide specialized design, planning and placemaking expertise through a tailored, action-focused process.
“Developing a progressive approach to how we serve the communities where we live and work is important to us,” said Sarah Konradi, executive director of the Design Workshop Foundation. “The Community Capacity Building Initiative allows us to leverage the talent and resources we have internally to help communities address the most important challenges they face today and to lay the foundation to establish a framework for long-term change.”
The Community Capacity Building Initiative addresses the systemic underfunding of projects in historically under-represented communities and provides no-cost support for community teams. Employing an approach anchored in environmental, economic and social equity, this process is designed to elevate the knowledge embedded within communities to implement needed change. Outcomes for selected communities will vary such as:
- Development of planning or strategic document to inform next steps and support future fundraising and implementation efforts;
- Design of events and programming to meet community needs;
- Organizing “tactical” or “pop-up” urbanism projects such as painted bike lanes, crosswalks, parklets, temporary parks and installations.
Finalists will be selected on June 7, 2023, and project work will commence immediately and conclude by October 2023. Applications are available here: http://www.designworkshop/dwfoundation.
“One project will be selected for each of the three regions,” added Konradi. “We intentionally selected areas near a few of our office locations so that our teams can be hands-on throughout the entire project. It also allows us to draw on our first-hand understanding of the area’s distinct culture, diversity, opportunities and challenges to co-develop outcomes that fit the needs of the community.”