Community Planning & Urban Design

The built environment shapes experience and quality of life for a community's residents and visitors. Places and spaces where people feel welcome and comfortable, and that are interesting, safe and vital invite people to connect with each other and build the framework of social connectivity, health and wellness, and prosperity and success.

Learn more about our placemaking approach here >, and check out the list below for some of our recent community planning and urban design projects.

Marshalltown Iowa is the county seat for Marshall County and a prosperous community of about 28,000 people located in central Iowa. In the summer of 2018 it was hit by a category EF3 tornado with winds of 145 mph which caused severe damage in multiple areas of the community, including the city's historic Main Street District and surrounding residential neighborhoods.

International Falls is the northernmost city in Minnesota and the seat of Koochiching County. With a population of about 6,000 people, the city is located on the Rainy River, along the US / Canada border, and is the largest port of entry for international railroad traffic in the United States today. It includes significant paper industry operations, and is an important gateway for tourism, including for visitors to Voyageurs National Park.

Known as “The Most Livable Place” for its renowned natural beauty, world class fishing, skiing, abundant recreational opportunities, and gateway to Yellowstone National Park, Bozeman is also a regional commercial center for much of the south central region of Montana.

CDG developed the city’s new Urban Design Manual to increase opportunities for human-scaled and context-appropriate development, innovative urban design, improved multimodal connectivity, and orderly and sustainable development while responding to the city’s unique physical and natural character.

St. Joseph is a small town of about 6,500 residents located just west of St. Cloud, Minnesota. Home to thriving small businesses and local industries, a diverse community and renowned educational institutions like the College of St. Benedict, the city is poised to grow and thrive in the coming decades.

Named 2017’s “Best Midwestern Small Town” by USA Today, Grand Marais is known for its vibrant arts scene, natural scenery, and unique history. Every year, thousands of visitors flock to the city’s downtown commercial district and venture into the nearby Boundary Waters Canoeing Area or Voyageurs National Park, some of the most pristine wilderness remaining in the United States.

The City of Grand Forks in coordination with the Grand Forks - East Grand Forks Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) recently updated their long-range Land Use Plan. The plan is a guiding document for how the City will manage growth and development over the next 30 years.

Community visioning and engagement was a key part of the plan update. To better reflect community needs and desires for the future of Grand Forks, CDG used interactive in-person activities and innovative online tools to expand engagement and participation in the process.

In spring of 2011, the West Side Community Organization (WSCO) began a process to develop a new Community Plan for District 3. Discovering and developing the vision that would guide the policies included in the Plan was the first step in this process.

Community Design Group was hired to design and implement a visioning process to:

Edina's GrandView District is one of the largest redevelopment sites within the city's boundaries, and is also an historically-important commercial and civic location. Many changes in the District’s land uses prompted the initiation of a community-led process to plan for its future - in consultation with residents, property owners, business owners and commercial property owners, to produce a guide for redevelopment.

Working closely with four of the most economically, ethnically and culturally diverse neighborhoods in Minneapolis (with a combined population of 23,000 people), CDG developed a placemaking and economic development blueprint offering specific guidance for supporting the revitalization of important neighborhood corridors and commercial nodes.