The Community Design Workshop, (formerly called the CU-City of Boulder Design Workshop), was developed in 2017 by CEDaR, initially as a partnership between the city of Boulder and CU Boulder.

During 2018-2019, we partnered with six CU Boulder faculty members in three projects: revitalization of University Hill; restoration of the Boulder Dushanbe Teahouse; and revitalization of the Longmont downtown. Through four design studios and four regular classes we trained more than 250 students while providing planning, design and design/build services and supporting community dialogue on neighborhood and downtown revitalization. 




The first year of the design workshop, 2016-2017, focused on the Alpine-Balsam initiative, a major long-term planning, design and development initiative of the city of Boulder, centered at the site previously occupied by Boulder Community Hospital. The goal of the 2016-2017 workshop was to create a baseline of knowledge and ideas supporting community dialogue around urban design and planning opportunities at the site and in nearby neighborhoods. The project relied on collaborative work across multiple disciplines, including faculty and staff in environmental sciences and design, and children and youth organized through Growing Up Boulder. The project was funded by CU Boulder's Office for Outreach and Engagement.


Boulder Dushanbe Teahouse

Primary partner: Boulder-Dushanbe Sister Cities Program, whose mission is to encourage cultural exchange, understanding, and communication between the peoples of the United States and Tajikistan. 

The Boulder Dushanbe Teahouse, built in Tajikistan and subsequently located in the Boulder civic area in 1987, is widely recognized as a symbol of cultural diversity and friendship. In collaboration with the city of Boulder, Boulder-Dushanbe Sister Cities, and a network of artists and advocates, CEDaR supported a traditional artist from Tajikistan to work with CU Boulder students to renovate teahouse artwork. This generated broad community interest and led to proposals for design of an adjoining gazebo that serves as a civic area performance space for small community events, linking the teahouse to other parts of the civic area, including the farmer’s market. 

The teahouse project will improve business outcomes by generating excitement about the downtown, drawing in customers and creating patterns of connectivity that will improve access to Boulder's popular farmer’s market. It involves the development of a beautiful structure with functional and artistic dimensions. Improvements to social relationships include bringing more voices to planning and design discussions, including voices from vulnerable communities. Participation in successful design processes will lead to social outcomes including confidence, a sense of community efficacy and neighborhood identity. Finally, the creation of a program and new partnerships that can replicate these experiences across Colorado will broaden support for placemaking in the state.  

Planned Schedule~Boulder-Dushanbe Teahouse

Fall 2021–Spring 2023: Planned implementation for the Dushanbe Teahouse.

​University Hill–Community Living Room

Primary partner: the city of Boulder, Office of Arts and Culture, which commissions a wide variety of artworks representing innovative approaches to contemporary practice in the arts, works of enduring value, and a diversity of artists and arts experiences within the city of Boulder. 

University Hill includes a commercial district and residential area in Boulder with mixed student and family housing. The neighborhood has seen a high degree of student-resident conflict. CEDaR staff organized an assessment of growth conflicts and student-resident interactions through a collaboration between neighborhood groups and CU Boulder classes from different disciplines, leading to a proposal for an art installation/meeting space in a park at the intersection of the neighborhood's student and resident areas.  The project was subsequently named, "The Community Living Room."

The project is a sculptural platform supporting small community events and meetings. Much of the work on design and development of construction documents is complete. Funding for this project will be used to support management of community engagements; management of construction/fabrication including work by students and interns; and post-construction assessment of the project and the process.  A $50,000 match has been established through a contract approved by both the city and the university to support fabrication. Marcel deLange, architect and assistant clinical professor at the University of Colorado Boulder, managed student work on this project.

Through the project on University Hill in Boulder, student and faculty work through the Community Design Workshop has addressed multiple design and development opportunities, including revitalization of the commercial district and planning for adjoining residential areas; urban design around proposed hotels and a conference center; improvements on the Broadway corridor and related walking/bicycle routes; and facilities planning at the university. These projects will affect the vitality and livability of central Boulder and the University of Colorado Boulder. 


Planned Schedule~Community Living Room

Fall 2018–Spring 2021
Research and conceptual designs for Community Living Room were developed and reviewed in community events. Further designs and construction diagrams developed for Community Living Room were submitted to relevant city and arts agencies and approved. Zoning and building approvals were obtained. 

Summer/Fall 2021–Spring 2022
Installations for the Community Living Room will be fabricated and constructed by students working with professionals as required.