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

  • Pearisburg, VA: Pearisburg Town Park Conceptual Master Plan Update and Tannery Road Site Conceptual Design 

    Proctor, Nick; Gilboy, Elizabeth Truex; Delbridge, Lauren; Zhong, Cen; Jones, Alexander; Williams, Daphne (Virginia Tech. Community Design Assistance Center, 2017-05-08)
    The purpose of this project was to develop a conceptual master plan update for the Pearisburg Town Park that benefits families, seniors, and youth and improved the quality of life by building community pride and contributing ...
  • Blowing Rock, NC : American Legion site conceptual design 

    Gilboy, Elizabeth Truex; Proctor, Nick; Jones, Alexander; Henry, Nik (Virginia Tech. Community Design Assistance Center, 2017-08)
    There was a great need to explore ways the American Legion site can serve and function as a connector between popular destinations in Blowing Rock, but in a way that is safe for citizens and visitors.
  • Town of Damascus : conceputal redevelopment of the former Chevron property 

    Gilboy, Elizabeth Truex; Proctor, Nick; Jones, Kevin (Virginia Tech. Community Design Assistance Center, 2017-07)
    The purpose of this project was to work with the Damascus community to identify a new use for the former Chevron site and develop a conceptual design for the parcel.
  • Dante, VA : Conceptual downtown master plan and park design 

    Gilboy, Elizabeth Truex; Proctor, Nick; Shi, Xiaofei; Kim, Boram (Virginia Tech. Community Design Assistance Center, 2017-08)
    This project was part two of a two-par project for the Dante community toward developing a conceptual master plan that featured open space.
  • Albany, KY : conceptual trail linkage plan 

    Gilboy, Elizabeth Truex; Proctor, Nick; Jones, Alexander; Jones, Kevin; Henry, Nik (Virginia Tech. Community Design Assistance Center, 2017-10)
    CDAC developed a conceptual trail linkage plan linking key sites near Mountain View Park through Albany's downtown. A design for a farmers' market structure was also developed.
  • Dungannon, VA : town playground conceptual master plan 

    Gilboy, Elizabeth Truex; Proctor, Nick; Jones, Alexander (Virginia Tech. Community Design Assistance Center, 2017-08)
    CDAC created a conceptual design for a new playground and environmental learning trail in Dungannon that fosters physical exercise, provides environmental education opportunities, and can be feasibly built and maintained.
  • Prestonsburg, KY : trail town conceptual master plan 

    Gilboy, Elizabeth Truex; Proctor, Nick; Shi, Xiaofei; Williams, Daphne; Thomas, Andrea; Chase, Austin; Niland, Joe (Virginia Tech. Community Design Assistance Center, 2017-06)
    The primary goal of this project was to help Prestonsburg work toward their Trail Town certification by creating a master plan that connects trail networks to public spaces and recommending effective signage.
  • Building on the dream : Claytor Subdivision : a front porch community in Radford, Virginia 

    Habitat for Humanity of the New River Valley (Virginia Tech. Community Design Assistance Center, 2017)
    A packet describing a proposed community in Radford to be built by Habitat for Humanity
  • Building on the dream : Claytor Subdivision : a front porch community in Radford, Virginia 

    Habitat for Humanity of the New River Valley (Virginia Tech. Community Design Assistance Center, 2017)
    A flyer describing a proposed community in Radford to be built by Habitat for Humanity.
  • Walton Park conceptual master plan 

    Steika, Kim; Blake, Michael; Dart, Daniel; Jank, Brian; Wolyniak, Brian (Virginia Tech. Community Design Assistance Center, 2008-03)
    The Town of Mineral would like to expand it's current Walton Park and create a park for daily or weekly community use for meetings, company picnics, family reunions and other outdoor events.
  • Fairview in Abingdon : conceptual master plan 

    Steika,Kim; Fisher, Terri; Dart, Daniel; Blake, Michael; latimore, Shruti (Virginia Tech. Community Design Assistance Center, 2007)
    The CDAC was hired to work with Fairview in Abingdon, Inc. to create a conceptual master plan for a village that would highlight life in Washington County in the 19th century.
  • Conceptual designs for space planning at the Danville Museum of Fine Arts and History 

    Gilboy, Elizabeth Truex; Fisher, Terri; Grundy, Meghan; Whitney, Brad (Virginia Tech. Community Design Assistance Center, 2007-05)
    The CDAC was hired by the DMFAH to improve the Museum's first floor rear entry hall and to improve the visitor experience between the first floor and the public spaces on the basement level.
  • Sharon Park, Colonel Tom Dotson Sports Complex 

    Steika, Kim; Blake, Michael; Milne, Brad (Virginia Tech. Community Design Assistance Center, 2007-09)
    Alleghany County is working with the Clifton Forge Little League to develop 14.66 acres in the Sharon area of Alleghany County. This will be called the Colonel Tom Dotson Sports Complex.
  • 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 ...
  • 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 L.; Proctor, Nick; Williams, Daphne; Shi, Xiaofei; Bohannon, Cermetrius Lynell; Bork, Dean; Jacobson, Wendy R.; Johnson, Ben; Katen, Brian F.; 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
  • 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 ...
  • 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 ...
  • 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 ...

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