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The original item was published from 8/7/2018 5:07:15 PM to 9/29/2018 12:05:03 AM.

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Community Event Announcements

Posted on: August 7, 2018

[ARCHIVED] Community Charrette Save the Dates!

The Downtown Master Plan 4-day Community Charrette will be held at the Mount Airy Volunteer Fire Company Reception Hall, 1008 Twin Arch Road from September 24 - 27, 2018. All are invited to attend. More details are to come, but here is an overview of what a Charrette is: 

Design Collective, Inc. © 2017


What is a Charrette?

A charrette is an intensive and creative, multi-day planning and design process in which a master plan and design solution is crafted through consensus building. A public design charrette can be utilized for large and small projects, for both public sector clients and private developers, and is equally appropriate for study areas that include single or multiple property owners.

Design Collective's Charrette Process:

Design Collective's unique public planning and design charrette process facilitates the gathering of consultants, client, stakeholders, elected officials, and the general public for a few days up to an entire week. During the charrette, participants are involved in many things:

  1. Collectively identifying goals and objectives by participating in an Opening Presentation and Visioning Session;
  2. Discussing major issues and concerns and helping to define potential problems, constraints, and opportunities;
  3. Providing input on plan and design alternatives during Evening Pin-Ups;

Through this input, Design Collective's charrette team prepares on-the-spot master plans, sketches, and artist renderings.  In many instances, our team includes expert traffic, transportation, market, economic, historic preservation, and environmental consultants to help us better address unique project imperatives.  Our charrette culminates with a Closing Presentation of the week's events, including photographs of public input sessions, illustrative plans, diagrams, artist renderings, illustrations, and a summary of land use, transportation, policy, and economic recommendations.

What is the Opening Visioning Session?

On the first night of the charrette participants gather at tables, in large groups, to identify important goals and objectives, to identify the types of buildings, architecture, and open spaces they prefer, and to begin developing concept plans. Each group is provided a base map of the study area, markers and pens, and typically a set of picture cards or “icon cards” (i.e., photographs of a wide variety of building types, sizes, and styles, greens and squares, streets and sidewalks, and similar). Through use of these tools, each table presents their unique ideas to the group at the end of the night. The ideas formulated during the Opening Visioning Session inform the charrette team as they begin crafting plan solutions and illustrations the remainder of the week.


What is an Evening Pin-Up?

During the day, the charrette team is busy drafting plans, artist renderings, building elevations, and illustrations that help to convey the design intent in response to public input. During the evening, the public is invited to attend Pin-Up Sessions that are informal presentations and discussion on what the team produced that day. This is the best opportunity for charrette participants to see how the plan is evolving, to provide critical input, and to make sure the solutions are responding to public input. During this time, expert consultants are on hand to answer specific questions regarding traffic, economic, environmental, or preservation issues.

What a Charrette is not

A charrette is not a one-day workshop, nor is it simply a brainstorming session that is focused largely on dialogue.  A charrette is not a visual preference analysis and is not intended to only determine what people like or don’t like.   A charrette is not a master plan or vision crafted by a select few but, rather, is a plan that has broad authorship and input, even though the charrette team prepares the drawings.  A charrette is not utilized to prepare bubble plans or renderings only but, rather, is used to prepare specific and very detailed illustrative plans, transportation, economic, and policy solutions, and artist renderings. 

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