Design Workshop, a landscape architecture, planning, and urban design firm, created a foundation in 2002. The foundation has now launched a new Community Capacity Building Initiative, which they describe as a “comprehensive technical assistance process designed to advance community action and overcome built environment challenges.” The foundation seeks applications for technical assistance from underserved communities in Roaring Fork Valley, Colorado; Piedmont region, North Carolina; and the Houston Metroplex, Texas.
The initiative aims to address the “systemic under-funding of projects in historically under-represented communities.” The foundation will provide “no-cost support for community teams.” Each project will be staffed with “teams of 3-4 landscape architects and planners,” which will have weekly hours assigned to the projects. The teams will organize workshops and charrettes with communities to create action plans.
“The Community Capacity Building Initiative goes far beyond simply donating our design and planning services. The work done on the selected projects is strategically designed to fill a gap in the design ecosystem in support of historically marginalized communities,” said landscape architect Sarah Konradi, ASLA, executive director of the Design Workshop Foundation.
The initiative aims to help communities with a range of projects. These could include developing strategies and planning documents to move forward fundraising and implementation; designing events and programs; or organizing “tactical” or “pop-up” projects, such as “painted bike lanes, crosswalks, parklets, temporary parks and installations.”
“One project will be selected for each of the three regions,” Konradi said. “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 communities.”
Communities in the three regions: apply by May 19. Teams applying must be multidisciplinary and led by a local government or non-profit. Projects will be selected in June and run through October 2023.