LDA 141 – Community Participation & Design

Designers and planners need new frameworks and better tools for engaging with communities. Simply going to a community and holding a public meeting does not constitute community participation. In fact, the act of going and supplanting existing patterns and cultures with outsider or expert views that purportedly improve local lives while in fact privileging outsiders is part of a long pattern that we know better as colonization. So how, then, should designers and planners prepare themselves, learn about communities, create mutually beneficial partnerships, seek input, explore ideas, and decide what to do? This is the subject of our course at UC Davis, LDA 141.


The following six projects were undertaken by student groups of 6-8 people from the majors of Sustainable Environmental Design and Landscape Architecture. This year our class, as well as community engagement, were realized largely through virtual meetings, remote site visits, and the very familiar juggling of our individual and group responsibilities. Several of these projects will continue on as student-driven group studies in the following Spring Quarter.

Winter 2022 Class Projects:

International Garden of Many Colors

Lago Tahoe Image
Lago Tahoe

5th&C Farm
West Sac Urban Farms

McLaughlin image
McLaughlin Reserve

Ciclovia image
Stockton Blvd Ciclovia

SLLC image
SLLC Accessibility Plan

2021 Projects:

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The Red Lodge – Tahoe Coalition for the Homeless

Sugar Pine Village / Tata Lane – City of South Lake Tahoe

West Sacramento Food Systems Mapping

West Sacramento Urban Farms

ASUCD Community Gardens Map

UC Davis LA+ED Jedi Council

2020 Class Projects:

ciclovia thumb
Stockton Boulevard Ciclovia

davis manor thumb
Davis Manor Infill Vision

fri thumb
FRI Feminist Landscape

rocky hill thumb
Rocky Hill Trail, Vacaville

sllc thumb
SLLC Woods and Edges

Cloverleaf thumb
Cloverleaf Farm Cohousing

2019 Class Projects:

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The Fruit Ridge Finger, with Organize Sacramento

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International Garden of Many Colors, Sacramento

LDA141 FRI report_Page_39_Image_0005
Feminist Research Institute
(awarded a $3,000 Green Initiative Fund Grant!)

ECG plan
EC Garden
(awarded a $9,900 Green Initiative Grant!)

Domes Herb

The Domes Herb Garden

sllc image
Sustainable Living and Learning Communities
(awarded a $1,500 UC Placemaking Initiative Grant!)

UC Davis Student Farm Production Barn and Teaching Facility
(Design Exhibit to be shown at 2019 UC Davis Undergraduate Research Conference)

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