Other Design Centers
Listed below are a handful of the many design centers that exist around the country. For a more detailed look design centers, see our Design Center Survey.
A Better City – Boston
A Better City (ABC) advances infrastructure investments and projects that are vital to sustaining and growing the Boston area’s economy and ensuring that Boston remains one of the most dynamic and unique cities in the world. Comprised of leaders from business and major institutions, the ABC is focused on solving problems and developing strategies that ensure the continuity and progress of significant transportation, land development, and public realm projects. A Better City is built on the foundation of over fifteen years of success as the Artery Business Committee, widely credited with achieving consensus and keeping Boston open for business during the Central Artery/Tunnel project, the largest and most complex urban infrastructure project ever undertaken in the United States.
Community Design Centers Backgrounder
This article provides a brief overview of design centers and links to many others.
Charlotte Community Design Studio
The CCDS is both the outreach arm of the College of Architecture (COA) at The University of North Carolina at Charlotte and a vehicle for applied research for faculty and students. It is the region’s only civic design center. The Studio’s purpose is to provide a forum for and initiate discussions by offering the creative energy, academic resources and research capabilities of the COA to critical community design issues in and around the city of Charlotte.
Raleigh Urban Design Center
The Urban Design Center is designed to apply an interactive, design-centered approach to planning issues in the City. The emphasis of the center is on updating the downtown plan, focusing on design opportunities to enhance the livability and walkability of downtown.
Charleston Civic Design Center
The role of the CCDC is to enhance the quality of life in Charleston by engaging the community in creating a dynamic urban design direction for the city.
Nashville Civic Design Center
A nonprofit organization whose mission is to elevate the quality of Nashville’s built environment and to promote public participation in the creation of a more beautiful and functional city for all.
Florida Community Design Center
The Florida Community Design Center is dedicated to promoting design excellence through civic engagement. Our research, design and outreach activities build community consensus, advance innovation and leverage efficiencies through integrated design methodologies.
Community Design Center of Pittsburgh
The CDCP is a non-profit organization that improves the quality of life in the Pittsburgh region by encouraging good design of the built environment. We do this by investing in strategic projects, helping individuals and communities access architecture and planning resources, and educating the public about the value of design.
City Design Center, Chicago IL
The Center’s mission is the study and practice of design in the public interest. The Center’s work is founded on the idea that the quality of the built urban environment is intrinsic to the vitality and diversity of the city’s cultural, economic, and political life.
CityDesign, Seattle WA
The mission of CityDesign is to support urban design excellence throughout Seattle. In its role as a creative catalyst, CityDesign promotes coordination and collaboration among city departments, developers, property owners, educational institutions and the community.
Kansas City Design Center
The KCDC mission is to provide education, research, and leadership to strengthen the public realm, the streets, sidewalks, parks, plazas and ordinary places that help to shape and define the image, character and identity of our city and region.
Coalition for a Livable Future
The CLF unites diverse organizations and individuals to promote healthy and sustainable communities. By connecting issues, people and organizations, CLF empowers communities to take action together to shape the big decisions affecting the Portland region.
Metropolitan Design Center, Minneapolis, MN
The Metropolitan Design Center (MDC) investigates how design can be used to make the metropolitan landscape more livable and sustainable. It examines urban design across metropolitan areas through projects, research, and education.
AIA Asheville unites the community of design professionals who live and work in the Western North Carolina region. We seek to build affiliations with other community-based organizations and local or regional boards and commissions. We want to work together to address issues of concern for our region such as historic preservation, smart growth, sustainability, green building, affordable housing and more.
The American Institute of Architects
For almost 150 years, members of The American Institute of Architects have worked with each other and their communities to create more valuable, healthy, secure, and sustainable buildings and cityscapes.
American Society of Landscape Architects
Founded in 1899, the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) is the national professional association representing landscape architects. Beginning with 11 original members, ASLA has grown to some 17,000 members and 48 chapters, representing all 50 states, U.S. territories, and 68 countries around the world. ASLA promotes the landscape architecture profession and advances the practice and sustainable design through advocacy, education, communication, and fellowship
North Carolina landscape architecture is diverse. NC landscape architects participate in the careful stewardship, wise planning, and artful design of a wide variety of natural environments. Projects are designed and planned for the slopes of the mountains, the rolling hills of the Piedmont, as well as the sandy shores of the coastal lands.
The Nolan Plan – Asheville City Plan, 1922
A 48 page book with five folding maps inserted in the text. Includes description of demography, economics, city parks, transportation, and other relevant factual details about the city of Asheville. John Nolen provides a diagram of the city as a series of circular and self-contained units that often overlap. Each unit is designed to provide basic educational facilities, parks, churches, business districts, and other fundamental support services. An intricate system of transportation features connects the units of the city with one another and utilize many of the existing thoroughfares.
Freeways give way to boulevards — slowly
Communities across North America are working to repair the destruction to the community urban fabric wrought by insensitive highway projects. Like Asheville, these communities seek to re-calibrate highway travel speed and volume to open possibilities for infill development, parks and neighborhood connections. Highways connect cities, but usually destroy neighborhood connections.
Smart Growth Online
Information about Smart Growth, with a manual that you can download.
Context Sensitive Solutions
The Transportation community’s Online Resource Center for Context Sensitive Solutions (CSS). CSS is a collaborative, interdisciplinary approach to transportation design that includes all stakeholders in order to develop a transportation facility that fits its physical setting and preserves scenic, aesthetic, historic, and environmental resources, while maintaining safety and mobility.
Making Better Communities Through Contextual Infrastructure Planning
“… highway planners and designers are recognizing that meeting community, environmental, and aesthetic requirements must be on a par with meeting the functional requirements of safety and capacity. As this becomes common practice, we are seeing that additional costs, if any, are typically far outweighed by the benefits and increased public support that are gained.”
Asheville Transportation and Engineering Department
City of Asheville’s Transportation and Engineering Department website.
NCDOT – I-26
NCDOT’s website for the I-26 project in Asheville.
Federal Highway Administration – Context Sensitive Design
“Context Sensitive Design” (CSD)is a collaborative approach to developing and redesigning transportation facilities that fit into their physical and human environment while preserving the aesthetic, historic, community, and natural environmental values.” A successful process includes designer and community involvement from the beginning.”
The Ohio River Bridges
This is a great site full of wonderful documentation on an informative community process to get two pretty neat bridges. Be sure to check out the computer models of the final bridge designs that are on the website.
Trinity River Corridor Project, Dallas, TX
The City of Dallas is building 6 bridges with world renowned architect/engineer Santiago Calatrava in a public/ private partnership with TxDOT. This site follows progress on the bridges and the river plan.
This site offers you information on works of structural engineering, architecture or construction through time, history and from around the world. Structurae deals mostly with bridges, tunnels, dams, skyscrapers, stadiums, towers, etc. Explore this site to discover the marvelous works of structural engineering.
Fremont Bridge, Portland OR
A neat double decked cable-arched bridge in Portland OR
The Hudson World Bridge
With its unique suspended structure and pedestrian Green Park between New York and New Jersey, it is intended to be a world landmark, attracting tourists from all nations. It is a bridge and a destination in itself.
Hoover Dam Bypass
This has pretty interesting simulations of the Hoover Dam Bypass and bridge.
Veterans’ Glass City Skyway, Toledo OH
Formerly known as the Maumee River Crossing (Toledo Ohio), this bridge is currently the largest single project ever undertaken by the Ohio Department of Transportation.
Best Bridges of the New Millennium – from Budget Travel Online
Flashy buildings get all the press, but bridges are making an even more dramatic leap forward. Here are the 12 most worth a detour.
by Sara Hart, May 2007 issue of Budget Travel Online
The Millau Viaduct
The Millau Viaduct is a cable-stayed road-bridge that spans the valley of the River Tarn near Millau in southern France. It is the tallest vehicular bridge in the world, with one pier’s summit at 1,125 ft- only 125 ft shorter than the Empire State Building.