WHAT WE DO
Community & Economic Development
WHY COMMUNITY & ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT?
Enhancing identity, developing assets, and increasing convenience are key to community and economic development. Respecting, understanding, and utilizing community distinctness, its history, natural and cultural influences, and embracing its participation through engagement, education, and capacity building, provides inspiration for our community improvement work. Design/planning for small town revitalization ‘game plans’, community improvement plans, facades and signage programs, open space and facilities action plans, focus on the analysis, community engagement, visioning, and implementation for these activities. A design-forward approach to improving community, focuses on people and place, leading to a desirable, healthy and sustainable environment.
Community and economic development work requires one to engage with all kinds – service groups and remarkable volunteers, municipal staff, project ‘first-timers’, and highly innovative, yet practical individuals, adults and youth, and yes, sometimes the ‘less agreeable’ – we are built for this. We have worked with jurisdictional agencies, residents and visitors, and many BIAs, RTOs, CoCs, CAOs and EcDev advisors; they all have one thing in common, a desire to keep their place viable, relevant, and resilient. The maintenance and upgrade of the physical design of ‘rural community’ has been our signature service for two decades, and is key to economic development and community satisfaction; we have built a practice on our ability to engage with community in a “reinforce the best, heal the rest” approach. Our celebrated ED work has included planning for streetscapes, facades, public and commemorative spaces, event and promotion facilities, gateway and wayfinding, and their associated design guidelines. Our progressive focus on the public realm and place-making within rural landscapes creates lively, people-oriented, and desirable community places – all easier to promote, maintain, and sustain.