Dante, VA: Community Design Charrette
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The Virginia Tech Landscape Architecture (LAR) Program held the first Richard G. Gibbons Public Landscapes Planning and Design Vertical Charrette at the beginning of the spring semester 2017. All landscape architecture students from second through fifth year participated in the charrette as part of their required studio and senior project work. This endowed charrette was also supported with an Urban & Community Forestry grant from the Virginia Department of Forestry provided through the Community Design Assistance Center and funding from the town of Dante. The charrette addressed public landscape issues and opportunities in Dante, Virginia, a historic coal town located in far southwest Virginia. Students and faculty travelled to the historic coal and rail town to meet with Dante and Russell County representatives to learn about the town and its rich social, cultural, economic, and environmental heritage as well as its current challenges and opportunities. Student groups were tasked with identifying and investigating options for community revitalization using public open space. After a single week of intensive work, the student groups graphically and orally presented their ideas for Dante’s future.