How do you transform a barrier into a connector? That was the challenge presented by the Community Design Collaborative’s Viaduct Project. Ballinger volunteers, along with a variety of design professionals, accepted the challenge and developed “Making Connections: Conceptual Design for Under the Viaduct.”

The effort included community meetings, over 300 surveys, and an ongoing dialog with the neighborhood. The resulting report included three distinct design solutions for three underpasses. The designs—inspired by the themes of “stream”, “beacon”, and “porch”—draw upon neighborhood history and landscape.

The report, which includes a site analysis and preliminary budget estimate, is being used to generate funding to implement the improvements.

The Community Design Collaborative’s model is to provide pro bono preliminary design services to nonprofit organizations in greater Philadelphia, creating engaging volunteer opportunities for design professionals, and raising awareness about the importance of design in revitalizing communities. Since 1991 they’ve matched communities with volunteer design professionals, to put their visions down on paper and advance to the next stage: gaining support, raising funds, and building projects.

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