CIRD supports host communities before and after their workshops via informational conference calls and webinars that cover critical topics in community engagement, rural design, partnership development, and workshop planning.

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What is Rural Design?

CIRD is based upon the idea that design can be a powerful tool for rural communities to build upon existing assets and improve the way a community looks, its quality of life, and its economic viability. 

CIRD workshops bring together participants from one or several communities in a geographic region to address specific local or regional challenges.  The workshop might address a specific site within a town or community, or a broader issue throughout the region tied to loss of employment opportunities; rapid growth from suburban sprawl and loss of agricultural lands; location of new facilities and transportation networks; or changing demographics. 

With the guidance of resource team members and CIRD program staff, CIRD workshops introduce a wide range of rural design strategies that can help a community address these challenges. These design strategies include:  

  • downtown revitalization
  • arts-based development 
  • heritage preservation
  • growth management
  • land and agricultural conservation 
  • transportation and facility planning
  • aging in place design standards 

To learn more about rural design strategies used in past CIRD workshops, visit our Where We Work page.