Community Design Team

The University of Wisconsin Extension provides communities with a variety of resources to empower them to make meaningful decisions about their future.   The Community Design Team is an opportunity to bring a team of planning and design professionals into your community to help you discover the short-, medium-, and long-range visions of your future.

Unlike a traditional strategic planning process, the Community Design Team approach concentrates public engagement into a 3-day event.  The event or “visit” consists of a flurry of interactive activities that encourage the exchange of ideas while generating the energy needed for implementation.  Like a traditional strategic planning process, the community design charrette involves months of preparation and deliberation involving key stakeholders.  Contrary to public opinion, the process involves just as much time and effort as a traditional process and merely projects the illusion that it is quick, fun, and simple.  This illusion is critical as it creates the energy and momentum necessary for implementing the ideas generated by the visit.  For here for more detailed information about the visit.


To apply for a visit, please contact your local UW-Extension Community Resource Educator/Agent.  They will guide you through the application process, build community capacity for the visit, and assist with implementation.  The Minnesota Design Team has provided the University of Wisconsin Extension with a workbook and application to use.

Please work with your local UW-Extension educator to complete application packet and submit it to:

Todd Johnson, Land Use & Community Development Specialist (UW-Extension)

University of Wisconsin River Falls

315 Agriculture Science

410 S. 3rd Steet

River Falls, WI  54022

(715) 425-3941 office


The Community Design Team visit costs $5,000.  The money is used to reimburse volunteers’ travel expenses and for materials.  Communities are encouraged to raise the funds from a variety of sources to help build a broad base of support.  In addition to the $5,000, communities are expected to find “host families” for each of the volunteers during their stay and to feed them.  In return, the Community Design Team will provide the community with $100,000 – $200,000 worth of in-kind professional services.