"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world.

Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has"

Margaret Mead, Anthropologist
(used with permission)

"If you don't like the news .... go out and make some of your own !!"

Wes "Scoop" Nisker, Newscaster


Government is a slow and tedious process. While it often includes citizen and neighborhood involvement, non-governmental, private organizations have created movements and interesting groups which can create positive change in our cities and towns.

I am fascinated by the way groups are created and how they influence public decision making. This blog merely recognizes them and forwards the description of these groups from their own websites.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

University of Arkansas Community Design Center

Location: Arkansas

Website: www.uadc.uark.edu

The mission of the University of Arkansas Community Design Center is to advance creative development in Arkansas through education, research and design solutions that enhance the physical environment.

As an outreach center of the School of Architecture, UACDC is developing a repertoire of new design methodologies applicable to community development issues in Arkansas, with currency at the national level.

UACDC design solutions introduce a multiple bottom line, integrating social and environmental measures into economic development. Our recombinant design solutions add long-term value and offer collateral benefits related to sustained economic capacity, enhanced ecologies, and improved public health -- the foundations of creative development.

Expanding the Consideration of Civic Space:

The contemporary public domain has shifted to an expanded urban field that includes suburban and other non-urban environments -- a geography of sprawl. Compounded by the decline of traditional downtowns, this shift poses new planning challenges for which no adequate civic development models exist.

Our planning approaches are tailored for historic downtowns, rural sites, watersheds, highway/rail infrastructure, the college campus, retail environments, and the office/residential/retail subdivision.

Developing New Models of Design:

Through meta-disciplinary research and design principles, UACDC recombines ecological, architectural, landscape architectural and urban design solutions to address emerging planning challenges. Our research maps the unique economic, political, and cultural processes that have shaped the Arkansas landscape.

Our work addresses new challenges in affordable housing, urban sprawl, environmental planning, and management of regional growth or decline.

Constructing Discourse:

Design professionals, educators, and students seeking civic design experience staff the UACDC. We collaborate with other agencies such as the Biological and Agricultural Engineering Department, the Center for Business and Economic Research, Audubon Arkansas, and the Arkansas Forestry Commission.

Through work with our clients and collaborators, we initiate learning networks that facilitate creative development.

UACDC was founded in 1995 and has provided design and planning services to over 30 communities and organizations across Arkansas. Our planning has helped Arkansas sponsors to secure nearly $62 million in grant funding to enact suggested improvements.

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