VERMONT DESIGN INSTITUTE
sustainable community development and problem-solving through holistic design and planning
5 Principles of Community Design
Strengthening the Center
Strengthening the Center happens is when the physical, historical and experiential strengths of a community are defined and enhanced to build a confluence of energy and identity.
Defining the Edges
Defining the Edges happens when the limits of a place are identified and held as gateway, boundary, and form-giving function.
Circulation is the movement within a city, village, or neighborhood. Just as our own circulatory system flows within the body, this is the system by which elements flow in and around our communities feeding, fueling, and networking one place to another.
Connectivity refers to the linkages and connections of a town or neighborhood to its surrounding neighbors and larger bio-region. Connectivity is the outreaching arms linking the center of a community to the outside world—whether through systems of food, energy, friendship, trade, or transport. It is a relationship.
Restoring Nature means bringing natural ecosystems back into our built-environment. It means designing for and with nature, rather than against and in control of nature, even when that forces us to redesign our habits of comfort and convenience. And, ultimately it means healing our home, Earth.