• What is Good Rural Design?

    Rural design involves the planning and manipulation of the environment for the betterment of the community. Design is a process that involves brainstorming ideas, developing plans and proposed designs, and implementation of a project.

  • CIRD Community-Centered Project Design Call

    In 2010, a Citizens’ Institute on Rural Design workshop in Taos, New Mexico helped reinvigorate a public plaza and create a new network of pathways and sidewalks.  At an Elk Horn City, Kentucky workshop in 2011, attendees identified creative solutions to connect the community with its riverfront.  In dozens of communities across the country, similar workshops have helped rural communities use design to solve challenges like improving walkability, curbing sprawl, and attracting tourists by enhancing local heritage.

  • Citizens' Institute on Rural Design (CIRD) Program Information Call

    On January 23, CommunityMatters hosted a Program Information Call for CIRD. Jamie Hand from the National Endowment for the Arts and Cynthia Nikitin from Project for Public Spaces provided an overview of the CIRD program and answered questions related to the recently released RFP. 

  • Welcome to the new Citizens' Institute on Rural Design!

    We are very excited to re-launch this program, as it represents a unique opportunity for both of our agencies to provide essential design services to rural communities.  Through our new partnership with Project for Public Spaces, Inc., the Orton Family Foundation, and the CommunityMatters® Partnership, rural communities can build upon existing assets and improve the way their community looks, its quality of life, and its economic viability.

  • CIRD Spotlight: Driggs, Idaho

    Driggs Master Plan Drawing

    With funding from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Federal Highway Administration, the Federal Transportation Authority, and the Driggs Urban Renewal Agency, the City of Driggs Idaho (pop. 1,660) plans to transform over 13,000 square feet of public space in its city center into an historic arts, visitor, recreation and transit center. 

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