DesignWeek 2018 : Envisioning the Neuse River Watershed

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DesignWeek 2018 : Envisioning the Neuse River Watershed

January 9, 2018 - January 18, 2018

Screen Shot 2017-12-13 at 12.50.10 PMDesignWeek 2018: Envisioning the Neuse River Watershed: Systemic Design Solutions for Healthy & Resilient Communities

DATES: January 9 -18, 2018

LECTURE + PANEL DISCUSSION: January 9, 2018 @ 6:00 p.m. | Burns Auditorium | Public Welcome

Thought leader: Mark Johnson, FASLA | President Civitas, Inc. 

DesignWeek is part of the Department of Landscape Architecture’s annual interdisciplinary education initiative aiming to raise interest in:

  • Creating healthier and resilient communities, while providing the opportunity to live healthy lifestyles;
  • Improving development patterns to reduce environmental harm;
  • Increasing awareness of the need for strategic design solutions to environmental and social challenges in the Piedmont and Coastal region of North Carolina.

The program, in its second year, frames a dialogue in a creative problem-solving model and includes research, reflection and speculation by all participants. It enables this process by hosting a weeklong event that brings together designers, planners, engineers, policy experts, and community members to begin the design dialogue necessary to frame our directions, and to engage the creativity of our students in the interest of visualizing solutions and strategies.

DesignWeek 2018

DesignWeek 2018 builds upon the momentum from last year’s inaugural event that focused on the three eastern North Carolina communities flooded during the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew in October 2016. This year the program will focus on the Neuse River Watershed addressing the issues distinctive to each of the three sub-regions identified along the basin: Upper, Middle, Lower. This year’s effort will aim to envision the future of the Neuse River watershed and the development of new environmental design strategies for creating healthier and resilient communities. The goal is to convene conversations about how design can respond to the effects that urban growth, intensive land use practices, and climate change are having on our communities and shared water resources. The Neuse River watershed is experiencing increased pollution in drinking water supplies, increasing stormwater and nutrient pollution flowing into watersheds, rising sea levels, and the increased likelihood of extreme weather events and floods. It is clear that future development in urban and rural communities throughout the Neuse River watershed must utilize systemic design thinking across disciplines in order to model design strategies that will sustain healthy watersheds and communities in the face of increasing population, demand for more development, and environmental pressures.

While envisioning the future of the Neuse River Watershed, DesignWeek 2018 participants are encouraged to take into consideration the following expectations while they develop their planning and design proposals:

  • Regional/sub-regional context: Understanding and analyzing the overall watershed system and the social, historical, demographic, political, and economic forces shaping the region.
  • Local context: Understanding and analyzing the study area, including bordering neighborhoods and commercial sites. Consider the designated project site’s relationship to surrounding neighborhoods and land uses through circulation, infrastructure, demographics, connectivity, and other site forces and factors.
  • Economic development, place-making and human experience: Developing strategies that create safe and healthy lifestyles with open space, parks, trails, recreation, environmental restoration, commercial and residential development.
  • Ecological health: Developing strategies and infrastructures that restore the natural environment and water quality, while reducing the detrimental effects of large seasonal floods, land use development, and agricultural practices.
  • Regional identity: Positioning the Neuse River watershed as a source of civic pride and a critical component of the community infrastructure that connects nature and people.
  • Project feasibility: Developing a phasing program that will provide market driven assumptions and feasible funding sources for achieving the development plan and conceptual design strategies over the course of ten-years.


Students and faculty from

  • NCSU School of Architecture
  • NCSU Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering
  • UNC Chapel Hill Department of City and Regional Planning

The DesignWeek 2018 program has recently been awarded with $25,000 seed-funding received from NC State Foundation Inc. The funds will be used for field trips, project materials, lecturers, video documentation, printing, and post-event project documentation.


January 9, 2018
January 18, 2018
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College of Design