Sponsored Post – from the Community Powered Workshop
At Community Powered Workshop (formerly Austin Community Design and Development Center) we know what happens when historically underserved communities are shut out from the decision-making process: the outcomes do not serve the needs and challenges of those who are directly impacted; access to basic services is denied or uncoordinated; and roadblocks to overcoming systemic injustices like poverty, health disparities, and vulnerability to climate change are put in place.
Historically, spaces are not designed alongside the people who are part of that community. This leaves little room for understanding the local history, culture, or trauma of a place and little opportunity to address the needs of the community.
We know there is a better way. We stand and work alongside powerful communities to challenge the status quo.
Community Power is the strength of communities who use their collective voice to break barriers of systemic injustice and place their story at the center of community design. Through our focus areas of collaborative planning, community-driven research, and social impact design, we support community-led solutions that create powerful places where all can thrive.
Collaborative Planning: We collaborate with powerful communities to plan and design places and spaces in a way that will respond to their most pressing needs. With the communities we work with historically being left out conversations about how their neighborhoods are shaped, the most important aspect we begin with in any partnership is trust. Currently, we are working alongside leaders in the Montopolis and Williamson Creek neighborhoods on place-making initiatives for their unique sets of needs.
Community-Driven Research: Through composing toolkits and data reports, we learn and share better ways to work alongside community leaders. We want to know the best ways to practice community-engagement; to quantify outcomes for health and equity; to honor the unique culture of each community. One of our most extensive pieces of research to date is the Right to Remain Report, which was created to understand the needs and challenges of low-income families in the historically Latino Montopolis neighborhood and identify opportunities for the development and preservation of affordable homes.
Social Impact Design: We use community-driven design to co-create places and systems that put public interest and the environment first. To effectively design a healthy, equitable environment, we look at specific characteristics of a place and the people who will use it. Examples of this has been our design of housing and communities for affordable housing organizations like Foundation Communities and LifeWorks.
Through this community-engaged process, we create a more equitable, healthy, and resilient world.
Please note – editorials and sponsored posts are written by guest writers to inform and educate the community on a variety of different viewpoints, as well as to share information about local eco-friendly businesses and organizations. However, they do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Austin EcoNetwork.