The Citizens' Institute on Rural Design™ (CIRD) is a partnership between Project for Public Spaces, the National Endowment for the Arts, the US Department of Agriculture, and the Orton Family Foundation that provides rural communities access to the resources they need to convert their own good ideas into reality.
CIRD works with communities with populations of 50,000 or less, and offers annual competitive funding to as many as six small towns or rural communities to host a two-and-a-half day community design workshop. With support from a wide range of design, planning and creative placemaking professionals, the workshops bring together local leaders from non-profits, community organizations, and government to develop actionable solutions to the community's pressing design challenges. The community receives additional support through webinars, conference calls, and web-based resources.
Established in 1991 as Your Town: the Citizens' Institute on Rural Design™, CIRD has convened more than 70 workshops in all regions of the country, empowering residents to leverage local assets for the future in order to build better places to live, work, and play. PPS was brought on in 2012 to assist with the program's workshops and technical assistance.
Click here to find great CIRD resources for rural placemaking and to learn how to apply for a workshop in your community.
Small Town Secrets: Five Ideas for Rural Design, Cynthia Nikitin, April 4, 2019
Viva Las Vegas (New Mexico): 200 Years of Hispano Urban Design & Architecture, James Rojas, December 3, 2018
Restoring a River Park, Restoring Relationships: Improving Environmental and Community Health in Las Vegas, NM, Charlotte Benz, November 27, 2018
A Root Awakening: Foodie Business Takes on Food Insecurity in Tuttle, ND, August 16, 2018
Citizens' Institute on Rural Design 2018 Hits the Road, June 22, 2018
Exploring Higher Ground: Honoring Tribal Tradition in Louisiana's Climate Resettlement Plan, Elka Gotfryd, October 2, 2017
What is Good Rural Design? March 21, 2013
Community Wisdom + Expert Knowledge = Good Community Design, Ariana McBride, April 23, 2013