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Revitalization and Redevelopment

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Guide to Online Resources

Community Planning and Design

Association for Community Design — Established in 1977, the Association for Community Design is a network of individuals, organizations, and institutions committed to increasing the capacity of planning and design professions to better serve communities. ACD serves and supports practitioners, educators, and organizations engaged in community-based design and planning.

Center for Community Design Research — Working in partnership with communities, elected officials, agencies, not-for-profit organizations and other academic programs, the CCDR provides technical assistance, educational programs and research projects that build community capacity to manage sustainable futures.

Center for Communities by Design — The Center for Communities by Design is the clearinghouse for the American Institute of Architects' many activities — from promoting sustainable design to leading design based technical assistance projects in communities — that influence the quality of life in our nation's communities. The center provides a variety of resources on livable communities and coordinates the Design Assistance Team (DAT) and Disaster Assistance programs.

Center for Universal Design — The Center for Universal Design is a national information, technical assistance and research center that evaluates, develops, and promotes accessible and universal design in housing, commercial and public facilities, outdoor environments and products. Its mission is to improve environments and products through design innovation, research, education and design assistance. 

Community Design Assistance Center — The Community Design Assistance Center assists communities, neighborhood groups, and non-profit organizations in improving the natural and built environments through design, planning, policy, and research. Through the integration of the learning and working environments, the Center will execute projects that link instruction and research and share its knowledge base with the general public.

Governors' Institute on Community Design — The Governor’s Institute on Community Design is a new national, nonpartisan effort to assist governors and their top staff as they consider investments in their communities’ future and help citizens and local governments navigate options in land use, housing, development, transportation, land preservation and community design.

Hamer Center for Community Design Assistance -- The mission of the Hamer Center is to promote public interest art, architecture, and design by supporting collaborative research projects, facilitating dialogue between the academic and practitioner communities, and recognizing excellence in planning and design from an international perspective.

Research Centers

Brookings Institution — The Brookings Institution is a private nonprofit organization devoted to independent research and innovative policy solutions. For more than 90 years, Brookings has analyzed current and emerging issues and produced new ideas that matter — for the nation and the world.

Center for Applied Rural Innovation — CARI's mission is to help create a rural community and agricultural structure that is economically viable, environmentally sound, socially acceptable and sustainable into the future. It focuses on leadership, sustainable agriculture, and economic and community development through education and research.

Center for Prairie Studies — The Center for Prairie Studies promotes understanding of and connection to our place and its people.

Center for Rural Studies — The Center for Rural Studies is a nonprofit, fee-for-service research organization that addresses social, economic and resource-based problems of rural people and communities.

Small Town and Rural Resources

CROPS - Center for Rural Outreach and Public Services — CROPS’ mission is to empower intergenerational groups of people and organizations in rural communities to work together to solve their own problems. 

Center for Rural Affairs — The Center for Rural Affairs, a private nonprofit, is working to strengthen small businesses, family farms and ranches, and rural communities.

Center for Rural Entrepreneurship — The Center for Rural Entrepreneurship is a Rural Policy Research Institute (RUPRI) national research and policy center.  The rationale for the Center is rooted in a clear opportunity for building more prosperous, dynamic and sustainable economies in rural America through entrepreneurship development.

Heartland Center for Leadership Development — The Heartland Center for Leadership Development is an independent, nonprofit organization developing local leadership that responds to the challenges of the future. The center focuses on leadership training, citizen participation, community planning, facilitation, evaluation, and curriculum development.

Institute for Small Town Studies — The Institute for Small Town Studies, is a 501(c)(3) educational non-profit corporation based in Fairfield, Iowa. It provides community design assistance and small town planning services; pursues historic preservation; and develops educational programs based on small town themes.

National Center for Small Communities — The National Center for Small Communities is a national, non-profit organization devoted exclusively to serving the leaders of America's smaller communities. Its mission is to provide the elected leaders of America's small communities with tools to govern effectively.

National Main Street Center — The National Trust Main Street Center's mission is to empower people, organizations and communities to achieve ongoing downtown and neighborhood district revitalization based upon the principles of self-determination, resource conservation and incremental transformation represented through the comprehensive Main Street Four-Point Approach™. 

National Rural Development Partnership — The National Rural Development Partnership acts as a non-partisan forum for identifying, discussing, and acting on issues affecting rural America. The NRDP does not supplant, duplicate or compete with any program, but rather facilitates coordination and collaboration among its partners to improve implementation of rural programs. The mission of the Partnership is to improve the quality of life in rural America!

National Rural Network — The mission of National Rural Network is to create awareness and understanding of those public policies which enhance the viability of Rural America.  

North Central Regional Center for Rural Development — The North Central Regional Center for Rural Development, located at Iowa State University, is one of four regional centers coordinating rural development research and education throughout the United States. Its mission is to strengthen the ability of the land-grant system and its partners to help build rural community capacity, create vibrant and sustainable economies, and cultivate inclusive approaches to governance to enhance regional well-being. The NCRCRD also provides leadership in rural development regionally and nationally by identifying, developing and supporting programs on the vanguard of emerging issues.

Rural Health Resource Center — The Rural Health Resource Center, a non-profit organization based in Duluth, Minnesota, provides technical assistance, information, tools and resources for the improvement of rural healthcare.

Rural Sociological Society — The Rural Sociological Society is a professional social science association that promotes the generation, application and dissemination of sociological knowledge. The society seeks to enhance the quality of rural life, communities and the environment.

The Rural School and Community Trust — The Rural School and Community Trust is a national nonprofit organization addressing the crucial relationship between good schools and thriving communities. Its mission is to help rural schools and communities get better together.

Small Town and Rural Planning Division, American Planning Association — The stated mission of the Small Towns and Rural Planning Division is to improve planning in small communities and rural areas. The division's work focuses on protecting natural resources and increasing technical services to planning commissioners. It strives to strengthen communications among small town and rural planners as well as with those in more urbanized areas. 

USDA Office of Community Development — The Office of Community Development administers rural community development programs within USDA Rural Development. Each program and initiative promotes self-sustaining, long-term economic and community development in rural areas. 

Western Rural Development Center — The Western Rural Development Center is one of four regional centers funded by U.S. Department of Agriculture Cooperative State Research, Education and Extension Services (CSREES) to strengthen the capacity of local citizens to guide the future of their rural communities. Each center links the research and extension capacity of regional land grant universities with local decision-makers to address a wide range of rural development issues.

Other National Resources

Advisory Council on Historic Preservation — The mission of the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation is to promote the preservation, enhancement and productive use of our nation's historic resources, and advise the President and Congress on national historic preservation policy.

Boomtown Institute — The mission of the Boomtown Institute, located in Effingham, Illinois, is to provide innovative thinking, encourage leadership and foster investment in communities across the United States.

National Association of Development Organizations — The NADO provides advocacy, education, research and training for the nation's regional development organizations.

National Association of Towns and Townships — The National Association of Towns and Townships was formed more than 30 years ago to provide America’s smaller communities — towns, townships and other suburban and rural localities — with a strong voice in Washington, D.C. NATaT’s purpose today, as it was then, is to champion fair-share federal funding decisions and to promote legislative and regulatory policies designed to strengthen grassroots local government.

National Center for Smart Growth — The National Center for Smart Growth Research and Education is a non-partisan center for research and leadership training on Smart Growth and related land use issues nationally and internationally.

National Charrette Institute — The National Charrette Institute is a nonprofit educational institution that helps people build community capacity for collaboration to create healthy community plans. It teaches professionals and community leaders the art and science of Dynamic Planning, a holistic, collaborative planning process that harnesses the talents and energies of all interested parties to create and support a feasible plan. And it advances the fields of community planning and public involvement through research and publications.

National Parks Service Historic Preservation Services — Heritage Preservation Services helps our nation's citizens and communities identify, evaluate, protect and preserve historic properties for future generations of Americans. Located in Washington, D.C., it provides a broad range of products and services, financial assistance and incentives, educational guidance and technical information in support of this mission.

National Register of Historic Places — Authorized under the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, the National Register is part of a national program to coordinate and support public and private efforts to identify, evaluate and protect our historic and archeological resources. Properties listed in the Register include districts, sites, buildings, structures and objects that are significant in American history, architecture, archeology, engineering and culture. The National Register is administered by the National Park Service, which is part of the U.S. Department of the Interior.

National Trust for Historic Preservation — The National Trust for Historic Preservation is a private, nonprofit membership organization dedicated to saving historic places and revitalizing America's communities.

Revitalization Institute — Revitalization Institute is the alliance for community renewal and natural resource restoration. The institute’s mission is to advance integrated approaches to community revitalization and natural resource restoration. It also develops tools, such as the Integrated Revitalization Guide, that help communities and regions take a more programmatic (as opposed to project-by-project) approach to community renewal. 

Smart Growth Leadership Institute — The Smart Growth Leadership Institute is dedicated to helping state and local elected, civic and business leaders design and implement effective smart growth strategies.

Smart Growth Network — The Smart Growth Network works to encourage development that serves the economy, community and the environment. It is a forum for: raising public awareness of how growth can improve community quality of life; promoting smart growth best practices; developing and sharing information, innovative policies, tools and ideas; cultivating strategies to address barriers to and advance opportunities for smart growth.

Sustainable Communities Network — The Sustainable Communities Network links citizens to resources and to one another to create healthy, vital, sustainable communities.

USDA Rural Development Program — Rural Development is committed to helping improve the economy and quality of life in all of rural America. Its financial programs support such essential public facilities and services as water and sewer systems, housing, health clinics, emergency service facilities, and electric and telephone service. It also promotes economic development by supporting loans to businesses through banks and community-managed lending pools. It offers technical assistance and information to help agricultural and other cooperatives get started and improve the effectiveness of their member services. And it provides technical assistance to help communities undertake community empowerment programs.