Making Dreams a Reality
Grassroots efforts are key to neighborhood revitalization. However, there are few sources of technical assistance or funding available for the earliest stages of community development projects. To serve this need, the Neighborhood Design Center helps nonprofits and community-based organizations prepare the necessary drawings, studies, and cost estimates that will be attractive to public or private investors. Most importantly, our work builds the capacity of local groups, enabling them to not only jump-start their projects but also move them forward by leveraging additional support and construction funding.
Who is eligible for NDC services?
NDC serves low and moderate-income communities throughout the Baltimore and Prince George’s County area. Groups must be a non-profit, community-based organizations (like a community association or block group) or a small municipality (Prince George's County).
Types of services
NDC provides the following design and planning services:
- Architectural services: Preliminary feasibility studies, as-built drawings, conceptual interior space programming and plans, renovation/adaptive re-use plans, illustrative drawings, and preliminary cost estimates.
- Landscape plans: site concepts and drawings for open space, parks, playgrounds, schools and vacant lots, including preliminary cost estimates and maintenance plans.
- Community planning: process, resident mapping, strategic action plans, and draft community or neighborhood plans.
- Environmental Design Strategies: related to crime control and prevention.
- Residential Block and Façade improvement ideas: designs and preliminary cost estimates.
- Community-participation public art projects: increasing resident involvement in creating visible neighborhood improvements.
- Commercial revitalization and streetscape: planning and design.
- Facilitation for workshops and for forging partnerships.
- Information about assistance and funding resources.
What our volunteers provide
For architecture and open space projects, our volunteers prepare drawings, studies, plans and cost estimates that will enable clients to leverage support and attract public or private funders or investors. We are not able to produce documents for construction—clients use our work to obtain funding that will provide for these services.
For other projects, we serve as advisors, facilitators, or coordinators, and our staff and volunteers produce preliminary reports, action strategies, or provide information that will help the client move forward in making their vision a reality. For all NDC projects, our positive reputation helps bring important stakeholders and decision-makers to the table.
What the community client provides
Over the years the Neighborhood Design Center has found that the most successful projects are those with a strong group of people moving it forward. Thus, we ask the community to create a planning team of 6 – 8 people to work with NDC staff and volunteers on the project.
The professional services received by our clients are provided on a pro-bono basis by NDC volunteers. The value of their services typically ranges from a few hundred to several thousands of dollars. The nonprofit NDC does require that the client pay a nominal project fee to help offset the costs of administration and project coordination.
How to Apply:
To learn more about NDC’s project application process click on “How to Apply” at the top of this page or call either our Baltimore or Prince George’s County office.