The CIRD program offers rural communities the following:
- An annual competitive opportunity to host an intensive, two-and-a-half day design workshop, supported through a $7,000 stipend and in-kind technical assistance and design expertise valued at $35,000.
- Capacity building conference calls and webinars on key rural design and planning topics.
- Web-based access to a wide range of rural design resources.
Through these three primary components, the program seeks to:
- Raise awareness about the role of design in enhancing the quality of life and economic vitality of rural communities and to spur innovative design solutions.
- Empower citizens to play a role in guiding and determining appropriate development for their communities, including best use of available federal and state funding.
- Equip participants with the tools and techniques to identify, value, protect, and enhance the unique aspects of their towns and landscapes.
- Strengthen the work and the partnerships of individuals and organizations who are already providing assistance to rural areas on design and community development issues.
- Provide a forum for rural technical assistance providers to share their professional skills, learn new techniques that would aid them in their work with rural communities, and exchange ideas and experiences with rural communities and other providers.
- Provide participants with access to best practice approaches to place-based architecture, landscape architecture, heritage tourism, cultural development, arts-based civic engagement, historic preservation, and land management.
- Contribute to the creation of a community of practice for rural design.