Dante, VA: Conceptual Downtown Master Plan and Park Design
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This project was part two of a two-part project for the Dante community toward developing a conceptual downtown master plan that featured public open space. For part one, in January 2017 the Virginia Tech Landscape Architecture Program, with funding support from a Virginia Department of Forestry grant and from The Richard G. Gibbons Public Landscapes Planning and Design award, held a charrette to begin generating a host of ideas for short-term and long-term actions to improve public open space located by the former trail depot for use by Dante residents and visitors. Second through fifth-year landscape architecture students participated in the charrette. The charrette addressed public landscape issues and opportunities in Dante. Students and faculty met 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. The purpose of the second phase of work, which is summarized in this report, was to work with the community to take the best themes and ideas from the ten teams of student work and create two refined alternative conceptual designs for both the downtown area and the open space, present those for feedback, then revise into one final conceptual master plan for the downtown area, one for the open space as a park, and planting recommendations.