Design Workshops

Optional review by design experts

The Council sponsors optional design workshops that offer input from a panel of experts aimed at improving the site planning and design of LCDA and TOD projects before the full application is submitted. These workshops are designed to help participants learn more about how LCA grants can provide funding for infrastructure, site assembly, placemaking and environmental cleanup to best meet the goals of the Livable Comunities program. The design workshops allow applicants to hear additional feedback from professionals with design experience to ensure that their project's density, orientation, circulation, location and other design elements are appropriate for the site. 

Key goals

The key goal of the workshops is to assist applicants in submitting projects that are well-designed and offer demonstration value to the region. 

Successful LCDA and TOD projects seek to 

  • Increase density in the project area
  • Introduce a diversity of land uses
  • Better connect housing, jobs, civis sites, and retail centers
  • Offer demonstration value to the region
  • Catalyze additional development around the project site 

Experts gather with participants at the table

The design workshops are staffed by a group of landscape architects, planners, architects and urban designers. These professionals – many of whom have worked on projects funded with Livable Communities grants – volunteer their time and expertise because they believe in the value of supporting high quality projects that demonstrate new and innovative ways to develop in the region.

Participants welcome the feedback

The informal, accessible format of the workshops was designed to encourage creativity, and participants seem to agree. “I had two projects that went through the design workshop,” said Eduardo Barrera, a project manager with the City of St. Paul. “The feedback provided by the experts was incredibly valuable. “Their critique and suggestions to the projects gave us the opportunity to look at the projects in a way in which they could yet be improved, and achieve the goals of a well-designed TOD development. I thank the Metropolitan Council for the opportunity to use this design workshop.”