Category : Sustainability

A Better Built Environment for the Changing Environment

Designing for resiliency amid the inevitable impacts of climate change.

The infrastructure of our towns and cities – buildings, homes, roadways, buildings, land use –make up what we know as the built environment. These human-made environments are where we often live and work, and they strongly influence how we behave and feel, and can even impact our physical and mental well-being.…

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The Ways Preservation Pays

From affordable housing to sustainable practices, a look at six benefits historic preservation can have on a community’s bottom line.   

My passion for historic preservation began when I was young. An admiration for the beauty of old buildings and the extensive details of these structures ultimately led me to pursue a career as an urban planner.…

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Create Meaning Together With Design Residency

Meeting The Challenges of Climate Change

In October 2018, RDG Planning and Design hosted its 8thannual Design Residency, a 3-day charette style learning event which gathers the nation’s top graduate students from many fields to address complex community problems.…

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Community Planning – Seeing Through The Lens of GIS

GIS, also known as Geographic Information Systems, is a software platform bringing understanding to our projects. This platform provides a variety of tools to perform data manipulation. For us at RDG, GIS is a foundational tool utilized in all of our community and regional planning work.…

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Creating a Living Laboratory on Your Campus

More colleges and universities are discovering the benefits of planning and implementing campus landscapes that are more than function and aesthetics but are transforming the campus into a “living laboratory.” These integrated learning environments are fostering strategic use of the exterior environment, connecting students to real-world applications, establishing new multipurpose spaces, and will continue to evolve as education demands change.…

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Follow the Green, Grassy Road

Designed to get people somewhere, greenway trails connect parks, link communities and can create expansive networks for non-motorized transportation.

Long and linear, greenway trails often follow the path of natural features in existing landscapes, such as streams or rivers and are sometimes developed along unused railway corridors.…

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Farming the Gold of Design Residency 2015

Our 2015 Design Residency topic focused on “Urban Alchemy.” We wanted to identify how cities can combine existing and proposed urban elements and spin them into social, economic, and environmental gold. We engaged ten of the top collegiate students from across the Midwest in our design residency process, and challenged them to address a loosely-bounded district in downtown Des Moines near the riverfront that included 24-acres of proposed “re-invigoration” projects.…

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Natural lighting in architectural design: a conversation with architect Stuart Shell

Why is natural lighting such an important part of today’s design philosophy? How does natural light accentuate other design elements? How long has the emphasis on natural light been such a primary focus of architectural design, and have the appetites for daylighting from building owners changed over the years?

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