The Design Center provides planning and design assistance to communities and non-profit organizations throughout the Commonwealth that are unable to afford the services of a private consultant, or are not ready to hire a consultant. The underlying philosophy behind our work is Healthy Living by Design which means creating designs that take into consideration factors that help create healthy environments. This includes aspects such as the physical, psychological, and intellectual well-being of users as well as the health of the environment. Project work is focused on planning and design assistance that affords healthy living opportunities such as conceptual open space master plans and greenway designs; creating landscape designs for outdoor learning opportunities; creating rain garden designs that reduce and filter stormwater run-off; and conceptual architectural designs that incorporate aspects of “green” architecture such as green roofs, daylighting, and recommendations for sustainable materials.

The Virginia Department of Forestry has recognized the importance of Healthy Living by Design and has partnered with the Design Center to provide grants to communities seeking urban forestry related planning and design assistance. Many thanks are due for this forwarding thinking partnership that has assisted so many communities throughout the Commonwealth.

Design Center work also embodies a sensitivity to the region’s history, whether regional or local. One example of this is our recent Lost Communities of Virginia publication that highlights a cross-section of once thriving communities from throughout the state.

Collections in this community

Recent Submissions

  • 16 squares : the heart of Blacksburg 

    Steika, Kim; Deshpande, Kartiki; Strumfiled, Jonathan (Virginia Tech. Community Design Assistance Center, 2008-07-01)
    CDAC worked with the 16 Squares Committee of Blacksburg to bring together an overview of historic information to cast a vision for what can be done in both the short and long term to identify, educate, preserve, and develop.
  • Dante, VA : community design charrette 

    Gilboy, Elizabeth Truex; Clements, Terry Lynn; Proctor, Nick; Williams, Daphne; Shi, Xiaofei; Bohannon, C.L.; Bork, Dean; Jacobson, Wendy; Johnson, Ben; Katen, Brian; Kim, Mintai; McGill, David; Miller, Patrick (Virginia Tech. Community Design Assistance Center, 2017-02-01)
    The charette addressed public landscape issues and opportunities in Dante, Virginia, a historic coal town in far southwest Virginia
  • North Fork Powell River greenway 

    Gilboy, Elizabeth Truex; Steika, Kim (Virginia Tech. Community Design Assistance Center, 2004-01-01)
    The Community Design Assistance Center assisted Pennington Gap in designing a greenway trail that runs along the North Fork of the Powell River from Route 58, where it enters the town limits, to Leeman Field, the recreation ...
  • St. Paul, VA : managing stormwater in Market Square 

    Gilboy, Elizabeth Truex; Philen, Melissa; Stroud, Patricia; Thomas, Andrea; Williams, Daphne; Chase, Austin; Souza de Souza, Aline Soares; Stelfox, Mike; Hulshult, Amelia (Virginia Tech. Community Design Assistance Center, 2016-09-01)
    The project focus is on Market Square block within St. Paul. St. Paul seeks ways to solve stormwater runoff issues by implementing design solutions closest to the source of precipitation. These conceptual designs address ...
  • Amherst town square conceptual design 

    Steika, Kim; Furedy, Eliza; Rodes, Doug (Virginia Tech. Community Design Assistance Center, 2008-05-01)
    The town of Amherst approached the CDAD to develop a plan for the town that considers previous plans and abides by the community's desires. The CDAC was asked to develop a conceptual design for the plaza area utilizing ...
  • Ellis Acres Memorial Park, Dillwyn, VA 

    Gilboy, Elizabeth Truex; Steika, Kim; Doran, Lauren; Xu, Yining (Virginia Tech. Community Design Assistance Center, 2007)
    Ellis Acres Memorial Park, Inc. is interested in renovating the remaining building on the historical Buckingham Training School property to serve as a community building. Among other things, it would house an historical ...
  • Whitesburg, KY : downtown section of the Tanglewood Downhill Trail conceptual master plan 

    Gilboy, Elizabeth Truex; Philen, Melissa; Browning, Lara; Gray, Shane; Niland, Joe; Souza de Souza, Aline Soares (Virginia Tech. Community Design Assistance Center, 2015-12-01)
    The Tanglewood Downhill Trail is a pedestrian and cyclist trail proposed to transect through Whitesburg, primarily along an abandoned railway bed. The trail connects important destinations within Whitesburg, as well as ...
  • Chatham visual enhancements 

    Gilboy, Elizabeth Truex; Steika, Kim; Bakar, Shamsul Abu; Akers, Dustin; Rigot, Sarah; Blecksmith, Lisa; Marshall, Ashleigh (Virginia Tech. Community Design Assistance Center, 2010-08-01)
    The purpose of this project was to assist the town of Chatham with several aspects of visual and experiential enhancements. Key focus areas included visual improvements, the Chatham Perimeter Trail, and other areas with ...
  • Agricultural barn : conceptual design project report 

    Gilboy, Elizabeth Truex; Schellhammer, Chris; Duda, Lauren; Kwon, Melanie; Saeidi-Rizi, Fatemeh (Virginia Tech. Community Design Assistance Center, 2013-04-01)
    Alpha Gamma Rho (AGR) is a fraternal organization for those interested in all forms of agriculture. The Virginia Tech Chapter resides in a historic home surrounded by 6 acres of land on the western side of US 460. The ...
  • Clinch River access points design guidelines 

    Gilboy, Elizabeth Truex; Browning, Lara; Jessup, Jen; Walker, Harley (Virginia Tech. Community Design Assistance Center, 2014-01-01)
    The CDAC was tasked with developing general design guidelines for access points along the Clinch River, creating a conceptual design for the access point at the Cleveland Ball Park as a pilot site, generating design concepts ...
  • Devil John Wright Trail linkage & enhancement master plan 

    Gilboy, Elizabeth Truex; Browning, Lara; Dunne, Peter; Jessup, Jen; Walker, Harley (Virginia Tech. Community Design Assistance Center, 2014-03-01)
    Jenkins, KY began as a railroad town; however, it has a history of moonshining and the legendary Devil John Wright. Devil John became known for gunslinging and ruthlessness. It was the desire of Jenkins to incorporate this ...
  • The Ormond Keister and Catherine Booth Evans Park conceptual master plan 

    Gilboy, Elizabeth Truex; Steika, Kim; Ling, Daniel; Xu, Yining; Bakar, Shamsul Abu; Marion, Kyle (Virginia Tech. Community Design Assistance Center, 2010-08-01)
    The city of Danville received a gift of a 105-acre family tobacco farm. The sons of the late Ormand K. and Catherine Evans donated the property for passive recreation, conservation and educational use.
  • Sydnor Jennings Elementary School teaching garden and facilities improvement project 

    Gilboy, Elizabeth Truex; Day, Susan; Steika, Kim; Thomas, Jordan; Choi, Bee; Poteet, Tish (Virginia Tech. Community Design Assistance Center, 2011-06-01)
    Recognizing the importance of outdoor experiential education to children's health, well-being, and academic achievement, the SJES faculty want to turn the courtyard into a teaching garden for hands-on activities and ...
  • Master plan for Greene County Community Park 

    Steika, Kim; Clough, Jordan; Dart, Daniel (Virginia Tech. Community Design Assistance Center, 2008-06-01)
    Members of Greene County have expressed a desire to expand Greene County Community Park's facilities to maximize the park's potential within the community. A diverse set of recreational opportunities are needed to achieve ...
  • Redbud Run conservation area conceptual master plan 

    Gilboy, Elizabeth Truex; Steika, Kim; Thomas, Jordan; Heile, Laurel; Sokol, Laura; Sumpter, C. LaDell; Poteet, Tish (Virginia Tech. Community Design Assistance Center, 2011-10-01)
    Several local partners are working closely with the Virginia Dept. of Game and Inland Fisheries on the development of a management plan for the Redbud preservation parcel. A series of conceptual trail routes are being ...
  • Patrick Robert Sydnor Civil War Era Historic Site + Log Cabin 

    Gilboy, Elizabeth Truex; Browning, Lara; Korkuti, Arian; Im, JooWon; Rollins, Michael; Smith, Liam; Young, Colby; Walker, Harley (Virginia Tech. Community Design Assistance Center, 2013-08)
    The Patrick Robert Sydnor Civil War Era Historic Site and Log Cabin are located in Mecklenburg County, Virginia near routes 15 and 58. Surrounded by wooded lots and farmland, the rural setting complements the historic ...
  • Bedford Elks Lodge conceptual design : Prepared by the Community Design Assistance Center for the Bedford Elks Lodge #2844, Bedford, Virginia 

    Gilboy, Elizabeth Truex; Steika, Kim; Korkuti, Arian; Fields, Kristin; Marshall, Ashleigh; Meier, Kerry (Virginia Tech. Community Design Assistance Center, 2011-03)
    The Elks Lodge #2844 of Bedford, Virginia hired the Community Design Assistance Center (CDAC) to develop a conceptual architectural design and site plan for a new Elks lodge. The Bedford Elks recently purchased a 5-acre ...
  • Royal Shenandoah Greenway conceptual master plan : prepared for the Front Royal Tree Stewards, the town of Front Royal, and Warren County, May 2009 

    Steika, Kim; Furedy, Eliza; Xu, Yining (Virginia Tech. Community Design Assistance Center, 2009-05)
    The Community Design Assistance Center (CDAC) was asked by the Front Royal Tree Stewards, in conjunction with the Town of Front Royal, to develop a conceptual master plan for a greenway. The Royal Shenandoah Greenway, that ...
  • Conceptual master plan for Boxerwood Nature Center and Woodland Garden 

    Steika, Kim; Doran, Lauren; Hipp, Kent; Wallace, I. Caroline (Virginia Tech. Community Design Assistance Center, 2008)
    The CDAC design team began the project with an initial site visit and tour of Boxerwood with staff members Hunter Mohring and Karen Bailey. The CDAC team photographed the site as they learned about the many spaces, places, ...
  • Dante Multi-Purpose Trail: Conceptual Master Plan 

    Steika, Kim; Hipp, Kent; Spratley, Cotter (Virginia Tech. Community Design Assistance Center, 2009-03)
    Dante is a small community in Russell County, Virginia. Although today its population does not exceed 1000, it was once a thriving community rich from the abundance of coal layered in the mountains. The community boasted ...

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