City Design Center Overview
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Community Design Excellence

City Design Center’s Community Design Excellence program creates opportunities for University of Illinois at Chicago faculty and students and Chicago area professionals to practice design in the service of community-building and revitalization. “It is a bridge,” as noted by Tom Forman, “between the community and the academy.” Through ongoing, working partnerships with non-profit organizations and governmental agencies, this program supports:
• Community organizations seeking to improve the quality of life in their neighborhoods;
• Non-profit developers attempting to reconcile social, financial, and aesthetic values; and
• Government leaders in promoting exemplary design and planning.

The Center serves as a design ‘incubator’ to facilitate communities in articulating design and planning objectives, and elucidating design alternatives through research on best practices and schematic design development within a local context. In every case, the Center’s work is in response to a request by a non-profit organization or governmental agency for design and planning assistance in a community under-served by the design professions. Projects may be as small in scale as streetscape furniture or a single building, to a large-scale planning or development process.

The Center’s design work is carried out with the close participation of the group or agency and community resident representatives. Participatory design and planning techniques are used to give community residents and organizations a say in design decisions that will effect their everyday lives.

Affordable Housing

Streetscape/Landscape

Industry/Commerce

Community Services

Community Planning

Urban Business Districts NEW!

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