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What is a Charrette?
|We asked our communities, “What has been done locally since your charrette?“
“The county has acquired a $100,000 land and water grant and they are working on implementing some of the trails on the plan….The team that worked with us was very professional and extremely energetic! They brought fresh ideas to the table, but, more importantly, they listened to the community.”—Carrollton GA, charrette conducted 2003
|“The Depot committee has restored the depot using entirely private funds from local donors and foundations… Our Historic Commission received a State HPD grant for $12,000 to hire a consultant to write our Design Guidelines..”—City of West Point, charrette conducted 2002|
|“We passed a Green Building Resolution requiring all municipal buildings and renovations to strive for LEED Silver certification. We’re working with the River Basin Center and DNR to develop a model buffer ordinance for the coast. We’ve begun a rain barrel program. The first condos with a green roof are under construction in the beach business district. We received a $2,000,000 GEFA loan for water line replacement.” —City of Tybee Island, charrette conducted 2005|
|“We have received $3,000 in state HPD funding to hire a consultant to assist our HPC with creating & nominating a Local Historic District. this was accompanied by a local match for the grant. We were successful in getting $600,000 in T. E. funding for streetscape improvements. We have completed one round of streetscape improvements through DOT - T. E. funding & a local match.“ —City of Hawkinsville, charrette conducted 1999|
|“[We created] a mixed-use development (called “Town Center”) on major corner in City and in the downtown district [which] compliments historic district; Increased civic space (in Town Center) - creation of a 10 acre urban style park ...total cost of park = $5,000,000+. Design guidelines created [3 sets: 1 for the downtown district, 1 for the historic district, and 1 for Town Center area] in line with the UGA recommendations. City continues to encourage development along Buford Hwy. as described in the Charrette document. Lots and lots of cool stuff happening in Suwanee - much of it was spurred by the ideas that came out of the charrette.“ —City of Suwanee, charette completed 2000|
The Center for Community Design & Preservation conducts multiple community design charrettes a year. “Charrette” describes a rapid, intensive, and creative work session, usually lasting a week or more, in which a design team focuses on a particular design problem and arrives at a collaborative solution. Charrettes are product-oriented. The public charrette is fast becoming a preferred way to face the planning challenges confronting American cities.
The University of Georgia’s College of Environment and Design has been using the charrette process to help communities for many decades. The process has many proponents and has gained special favor in a new era of contemporary town planning, new urbanism, neo-traditionalism and just plain, hometown, good old-fashioned concern for where you live.
Our charrettes are high-energy, new vision, community improvement events! They result in concepts that leverage implementation funds. Nearly all of the communities where charrettes were done have gone on to receive grants or local funds to implement our recommendations. In short, charrettes WORK!
Analysis of UGA Design Charrettes
The Efficacy of the Design Charrette As A Tool for Community Planning, by Julia Reed, Master of Landscape Architecture thesis, The University of Georgia, 2007
Case Study Snapshots
HARLEM UGA charrette report, 2003 | Post-charrette case study, 2007
HAWKINSVILLE UGA charrette report, 1999 | Post-charrette case study, 2007
SUWANEE UGA charrette report, 2000 | Post-charrette case study, 2007
The National Charrette Institute
The Charrette as an Agent of Change, By Bill Lennertz
for New Urbanism: Comprehensive Report & Best Practices Guide,
3rd Edition. Ithaca: New Urban Publications, 2003. Pp. 12-2-8.
NCI Community Forum Blog
Interested in bringing a charrette to your community?
Contact Jennifer Lewis, Public Service Projects Coordinator, at email@example.com or 706-369-5885