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COMMUNITY DESIGN BEST PRACTICES

Community Design

Community design is about the physical components of places: how they are arranged, the mix of activities in them, their look and feel, and their impact on local economic, social, and ecological systems.  Communities that pay attention to design – accessibility, safety, spaces for connection and public engagement, driveability – are the most likely to attract talent and business. This collection of resources encompasses the following categories: 

The information is by no means exhaustive, and we encourage you to share your best practices, information, and role models with us by contacting Katya Dyakonova, member of the CommunityDesign Knowledge Group.

Neighborhood

Title  Summary
Principles of Engagement: (mis)Understanding the Community-Design Studio
Roger Williams University
Principles for successful collaboration of urban design schools with disadvantaged communities for the mutual benefit. Real world examples provided.
Recent Trends in Community Design: The Eminence of Participation
California State University
A discussion of current practices in community design, followed by identification of key leaders in the community design field with references to their publications.  
Where Do We Go from Here? An Evaluative Framework for Community-Based Design 
UC Davis
A working framework for evaluating community-based activities and projects, helpful for architecture schools, community-based programs, faculty, and students. 
Tuning Established Models - Community Design Centers
Rex Curry
Description of a community design model where communities act as developer, contractor and end-user. Three main resources necessary for success of CDCs are identified, as well as key factors for CDC success in the future.  
Association for Community Design
Association for Community Design
A host of resources on community design, news, opportunities, map of community design centers.  
Jackson Community Design Center 
Jackson Community Design Center 
Since 2009, the center hosts forums, conducts educational outreach, provides information on JCDC services and projects as well as publications about community design.  
Community Gardening, Neighborhood Meetings, and Social Capital
Wiley Online Library
Evidence-based study supporting the idea that involvement of local community members in neighborhood activities, including neighborhood improvement, has a positive impact on community development and well-being.
Neighbors and Neighborhoods: An Excerpt from a New APA Planners Press book Describes the Elements of Successful Community Design
American Planning Association
Characteristics of a successful community using Locust Point, Baltimore, followed by discussion of the link between building relationships and being successful as a community.
Recognizing Neighborhood Satisfaction: Significant Dimensions and Assessment Factors
University of Tabriz, Iran
Discussion of factors influencing residents' satisfaction with the neighborhood, characteristics of neighborhood satisfaction, role of   neighborhood in the residents’ decision to stay in the community or to leave.
Tools for Community: Ivan Illich Legacy
Robert Gordon University
Guidelines on how to transform an existing neighborhood into a "preferred" one through design, how to improve community well-being and confidence through design thinking. Valuable examples are provided of how community design can be used as a strategic problem-solving tool.  
Citizen Participation in Neighborhood Organizations in Poor Communities and its Relationship to Neighborhood and Organizational Collective Efficacy
Georgia State University
Discussion of ways to encourage voluntary involvement of community members in neighborhood activities to promote trust, social control, and reduce crime and violence. Article of particular interest to social workers and community planners. 
Place, Purpose, and Role in Rural Community Development Outreach: Lessons from the West Virginia Community Design Team
University of Georgia
Strategies used by the West Virginia Community Design Team as a catalyst in a university-community development outreach. 
The Design Your Own Park Competition: Empowering Neighborhoods and Restoring Outdoor Play on a Citywide Scale
Binghamptom University
Successful experience of Design Your Own Park (DYOP) Competition - a project sponsored by a university, a city, and a fundraising organization in Binghamton, NY, to promote cohesiveness in local communities.  

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Crime Prevention

Title Summary
Secured by Design
A UK website presenting national police projects and advice on neighborhood crime prevention. Includes a design guide, research and publications and a presentation on "designing out crime".   
Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design
Robert Gardner
Principles and strategies of  crime prevention through environmental design, including lighting, territoriality, landscaping,  surveillance, etc. 
Neighborhood Safety
City of Fort Wayne
The official website of Fort Wayne, IN, presenting principles of crime prevention through environmental design in neighborhoods, residential and commercial settings. The CPTED Manual is posted in the section on Neighborhood Safety.  
Zoning Out Crime and Improving Community Health in Sarasota, Florida: "Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design"
S.P. Carter et al.
An example of turning one of Sarasota's (FL) crime-ridden neighborhoods into a safer area through environmental design and involvement of local community and business, education, and local authority leaders. 
Performance of Campus Parking Garages in Preventing Crime
C. Tseng et al.
Application of concepts of crime prevention through environmental design at the Ohio State University. 
Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design
Organization for Economic Cooperation and  Development
Principles of developing a safer learning environment at schools, example of Broward County, Florida and the Florida Department of Education
The Expanding Role of Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design in Premises Liability
National Institute of Justice
The historical evolution of the legal basis for premises liability cases and their connection to Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED).
Measuring Crime Prevention through Environmental Design in a GatedResidential Area: A Pilot Survey
ASEAN Conference on Environment-Behavior Studies
Description of how a measurement instrument was developed to assess Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design. 
Community Perception: The Ability to Assess the Safety of Unfamiliar Neighborhoods and Respond Adaptively
Binghampton University
A study about people’s capacity to judge the safety of unfamiliar urban neighborhoods and the impact of physical neighborhood characteristics on such a judgment.  
Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design in Parking Facilities
National Institute of Justice
Discussion about the application of Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) concepts to parking facilities. 
Neighborhood Safety
City of Fort Wayne
The official website of Fort Wayne, IN, presenting principles of crime prevention through environmental design in neighborhoods, residential and commercial settings. The CPTED Manual is posted in the section on Neighborhood Safety.  
Zoning Out Crime and Improving Community Health in Sarasota,Florida: "Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design"
S.P. Carter et al.
An example of turning one of Sarasota's (FL) crime-ridden neighborhoods into a safer area through environmental design and involvement of local community and business, education, and local authority leaders. 
Performance of Campus Parking Garages in Preventing Crime
C. Tseng et al.
Application of concepts of crime prevention through environmental design at the Ohio State University. 
Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design
Organization for Economic Cooperation and  Development
Principles of developing a safer learning environment at schools, example of Broward County, Florida and the Florida Department of Education
The Expanding Role of Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design in Premises Liability
National Institute of Justice
The historical evolution of the legal basis for premises liability cases and their connection to Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED).
Measuring Crime Prevention through Environmental Design in a Gated Residential Area: A Pilot Survey
ASEAN Conference on Environment-Behavior Studies
Description of how a measurement instrument was developed to assess Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design. 
Community Perception: The Ability to Assess the Safety of Unfamiliar Neighborhoods and Respond Adaptively
Binghampton University
A study about people’s capacity to judge the safety of unfamiliar urban neighborhoods and the impact of physical neighborhood characteristics on such a judgment.  
Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design in Parking Facilities
National Institute of Justice
Discussion about the application of Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) concepts to parking facilities. 

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Sustainable Design

Title Summary
Sustainable Community Design
Center for Sustainability at Aquinas College, University of North Carolina
A host of resources put together by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Essential Elements of Sustainable Design
AICP 
Architectural elements as tools to improve neighborhood environments such as historic conservation, smart infrastructure, legibility, compactness, center of various activities and gatherings, mixing of cultures. The authors offer a more systematic regional approach to city development and land management in order to obtain a more sustainable urbanism. 
Creating the Urban Village: Teaching Pre-Service Teachers about Sustainable Design in Architecture and Community Planning
Kent State University
Training for prospective art teachers about concepts of urban planning and sustainable design based on the "urban village model".  The teaching method can be used in architecture and design schools. 

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Universal Design

Title Summary
The Center for Universal Design
NC State University School of Design
Information on principles of universal design: equitable use, flexibility in use, simple and intuitive use, perceptible information, tolerance for error, low physical effort, and size and space for approach and use. 
The Seven Principles of Universal Design
Universal Design.com
7 principles of UD accompanied by an easy-to-read article.   
A Priority-based Approach for Satisfying the Diverse Users' Needs, Capabilities and Expectations: a Universal Kitchen Design Case
Yasemin Afacana & Halime Demirkan 
Different stages of creating Universal Design (UD), including how to prioritize UD requirements to create a comfortable environment, involving all users' preferences and diverse needs. 

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Stormwater and Rain Gardens

Title Summary
Protecting Water Resources with Higher Density Development
Environmental Protection Agency
Different perspective on addressing the complex interactions between development and water quality.  Findings indicate that low-density development may not always be the preferred strategy for protecting water resources.
Dominant Perspectives and the Shape of Urban Stormwater Futures
University of Auckland
Three dominant perspectives that underlie contemporary approaches to stormwater management: conventional fixes, low impact solutions and community development. 
Using Rainwater to Grow Livable Communities: Benefits of Green Development 
WERF
Examination of associations between participation in community gardening/beautification projects and neighborhood meetings with perceptions of social capital at both the individual and neighborhood levels. 
Rain Gardens Stem Urban Storm-Water Flows
Thrall, L.
Demonstration of simple design modification to enhance rain gardens’ ability to treat the polluted rain water flowing off impervious surfaces. 
Stormwater Strategies: Community Responses to Runoff Pollution
Natura Resources Defense Council
Causes and consequences of stormwater pollution, focusing on runoff pollution from developed areas and several case studies from the Northeast, Southeast, Central Southwest, Northern Rockies and Pacific Southwest, Pacific Northwest, and the Midwest. 

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Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems

Title Summary
A Drain on a Budget
American City and County 
Application of the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System Phase II stormwater regulations of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems (MS4).
Stream Measures
Casagrand, K.
Efforts of Columbia, Missouri to hold an annual "Clean Sweep" of a local creek, calling attention to the city's mitigation ordinance. It mentions that the EPA calls for the municipal separate storm sewer system (MS4) to reduce the creek's runoff by 40 percent. 
Managing Stormwater in Your Community: A Guide for Building an Effective Post-construction Program
Environmental Protection Agency
Practical guidance, insights, and tools for stormwater professionals to build effective programs. Includes several downloadable tools to help with program implementation.
Post-Construction Storm Water Best Management Practices Research Report
TriAD Environmental Consultants, Inc.
The Tennessee Department of Transportation's report on post-construction stormwater best management practices (BMPs) research. Includes an estimated cost to construct. 
Protecting Water Quality from Urban Runoff
Environmental Protection Agency
General overview on effect of urban runoff on water quality. Could be used as a general public informational flyer. 

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Historic Preservation

Title Summary
Historic Preservation’s Impact on Job Creation, Property Values, and Environmental Sustainability 
Gilderbloom, J.I., Hanka, M.J. & Ambrosius, J.D.
Examination of historic preservation on jobs, property values, and environmentalism in Louisville. This paper also demonstrates the link between environmentalism and historic preservation. 
Historic Preservation and Neighborhood Change
Coulson, N.E., & Leichenko, R.M.
Discussion about the association of historical designation with demographic change in neighborhoods. Reinforces the idea that preservation efforts are targeted to areas in 'need' of revitalization. 
Preservation and Property Values in Indiana
Rypkema, D.
Study showing rise in property value and other “historic district bonuses” in local historic districts. 
Economics of Historic Preservation: Dollars and Sense
Michigan State University
Positive benefits of historic preservation, including protection of building diversity, creation of construction jobs, return of under-utilized building to the tax rolls, attraction of tourists and good use of existing infrastructure. 
Revitalizing   America's Downtowns in The Twenty-First Century
Kemp, R.L., & Stephani, C.J.
Call to revitalize downtowns in the U.S. in the twenty-first century, which requires redevelopment and zoning law changes to allow for mixed uses of commercial and residential properties. 

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Main Street Revitalization

Title Summary
The Entertainment Zone: Unplanned Nightlife and the Revitalizationof the American Downtown
Morgan State University, Harvard University
Description of informal, small-scale leisure and nightlife districts, or entertainment zones, which have developed in or near the downtowns of American cities in recent years.  Also demonstrates the popularity and flexibility of vernacular architecture and urbanism and its importance in generating a vibrant and diverse downtown. 
The Process and Practice of Downtown Revitalization
Ball State University
Literature review on downtown revitalization, presenting a model that illustrates the process of decline and the more recent process of revitalization that has occurred in downtown areas over the past half-century. 
Planning and Sense of Place in a ‘Dying’ Downtown: Articulating Memories and Visions in Middletown, Ohio
Depriest-Hricko, L. R., and Prytherch, D.L.
Methods of gauging downtown sense of place by gathering ‘downtown stories’ and conducting semi-structured interviews in the post-industrial city of Middletown Ohio, which a national magazine named as one of ‘America's Fastest Dying Towns.’ 
Recentralization
Shore, W. B. 
Discussion of the impact of downtown revitalization on poverty and several social problems in the U.S. 
Revitalization of the Main Street of a Distinguished OldNeighborhood in Istanbul
Dokmeci, V.; Altunbas, U.; & Yazgi, B.
Investigation of the main street revitalization of Beyoglu, Istanbul. 

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Native Plants

Title  Summary
Designing Neighborhoods for People and Wildlife
American Society of Landscape Architects
Discussion about the use of native plants to create healthier habitats for wildlife and people, offering shelter, cleaner air, and cleaner water. 
Urban Forests = Cleaner, Cooler Air
American Society of Landscape Architects
Poor air quality and high heat can be combatted by creating a significant tree canopy throughout urban areas.  Mature trees are the biggest defense against pollution and the urban heat island effect.  
Green Landscaping: Greenacres
EPA
Individual and community benefits of using native plants.  
Why We Care about Native Plants
INPAWS
Protecting and restoring wildlife enriches our communities, exposing us to natural habitats and ensuring that they are around for future generations.   
Native Plant Palettes Revitalization of the American Downtown 
INPAWS
Several lists of Indiana native plants based on the type of ecosystem in which they would be typically found. 

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Public Realm and Streetscapes

Title Summary
Complete Streets: Streets as Public Space
American Society of Landscape Architects
Thoughts on designing streets to include multiple types of transportation, including sidewalks and bike lanes with an emphasis on accessibility to varying age groups. 
B I K E N O M I C S: Measuring the Economic Impact of Bicycle Facilities on Neighborhood Business Districts
Rowe, K.
Case study of Seattle’s attempts to make room for bicycles, including difficulties with political barriers, physical limitations, and neighborhood business communities.  
The Future of Public Space: Evolution and Revolution
American Society of Landscape Architects
Public spaces can be created by reimagining the use of existing spaces.  

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Public Art

Title Summary
The Many Benefits of Public Art
American Society of Landscape Architects
Art can provide aesthetic value to a place, as well as driving economic development in an area.  
Public Art - Purpose and Benefits: Exploring Strategy in the New England City of Pittsfield, MA
Landi, P.
A look at how public art can represent a specific time and place, relating cultural planning strategy to community participation.  

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Walkability

Title Summary
Survey: Neighborhood Walkability Score
University of Washington
A ready-to-use tool to assess a neighborhood's walkability, with instructions on how to employ it and score the answers. 
Steps to a Walkable Community: Case Studies
Walksteps
More than 40 case studies on walkability improvements. This resource provides ideas for specific measures to better walkability of city areas. 
Ten Keys to Livable and Walkable Communities
Walkable Communities, Inc.
Ten measures to achieve prosperous, walk-able, healthy, livable communities. 
Does Neighbourhood Walkability Moderate the Effects of Mass Media Communication Strategies to Promote Regular Physical Activity?
R. Barnes et al.
Evidence that the effect of public health programs may be greater in communities with higher walkability rather than their less walkable counterparts. This is important because walkability may help increase return on investment in public health areas. 
Green Metropolis: Why Living Smaller, Living Closer, and Driving Less Are Keys to Sustainability
D. Owen et al.
Discussion of the damaging effects of territorial sprawl, where people settle down at significant distances from one another and use cars to commute between points of interest.  
The Walkability Premium in Commercial Real Estate Investments
University of Arizona and Indiana University
This study shows that greater walkability results in greater commercial real estate, office, and apartment values. 
The Effects of Street Connectivity on Walkability and Access to Transit
Georgia Institute of Technology
This doctoral thesis confirms that urban form (physical layout and design of an area) within a mile radius impacts the number of people who choose to walk to the station rather than drive. 
Residential Land Values and Walkability
University of Alabama, University of San Diego
Exploration of the effects of walkability on residential property values. 
Fort Lauderdale Downtown Walkability Analysis
Speck and Associates, City of Lauderdale
Example of how to approach downtown redesign for increased walkability and connectivity. This recent (Jan 2013) study identifies very concrete measures (short-, mid-, and long-term) for better pedestrian navigation through downtown. 
Canada Walks - Best Practices and  Case Studies in Improving Walkability 
Green Communities | Canada Walks
Case studies and examples from communities across Canada which embraced the WalkON project to increase walkability and promote healthy lifestyles among residents of Canadian communities. 
Street Connectivity: Improving the Function and Performance of Your Local Streets
Lehigh Valley Planning Commission
Presentation that explains the central concepts in urban design, walkability, connectivity and instruments for assessment. 

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COMMUNITY DESIGN KNOWLEDGE GROUP

Katya Dyakonova

Katya Dyakonova

BBC Research Assistant
Ball State University 

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