We are committed to an active program of community engagement.

It is part of our mission as a department in a land grant university to serve communities. We are also dedicated to expanding awareness of the value of design thinking and landscape architecture in the creation of a better future. Our community engagement activities include large groups of students working in design courses, smaller teams of student interns working with faculty and staff guidance, and cooperative extension work that includes publications, training, capacity building, and coordination with service-learning projects. All of our community engagement projects are idea-oriented and are intended to build communities’ capacity to engage professional planning and design services, organize funding, and implement projects in the future.

Cooperative Extension

Community engagement efforts in the Department of Landscape Architecture are spearheaded by Associate Extension Professor Jayoung Koo. In addition to coordinating service-learning and funded projects involving interns, Dr. Koo works with the Cooperative Extension network in Kentucky to lead training programs in community design for extension professionals, community leaders, and citizens. She has developed a series of publications that can guide communities as they organize to begin projects that involve the design of their historic downtowns, their recreational assets, and other community goals. She often works to help communities build organizational capacity that can lead to successfully engaging design assistance and seeking project funding. 

Visit our archive of Extension projects. CEDIK also maintains webinars and further references for design assistance.

collage of photographs of students work with citizens in williamsburg and hyden, kentucky

Community & Economic Development Initiative of Kentucky (CEDIK)

The Department of Landscape Architecture, along with other departments at UK, partners with the Community and Economic Development Initiative of Kentucky (CEDIK) to further the development goals of communities in Kentucky. Landscape Architecture is involved in community design efforts connected to planning and economic development strategies that may involve adventure tourism, downtown revitalization, or cultural amenities.

collage of photographs of students working with citizens in manchester and harlan kentucky

Service-Learning Projects in Studios

Studio service-learning projects enable students and communities to explore a wide range of design alternatives. This can help students and communities understand the implications of their community development objectives by projecting design scenarios into the future.

Faculty-Student Intern Teams

Faculty and staff members directing small groups of paid student interns allow communities and students to explore more specific solutions for community design objectives. This usually requires a closer working relationship with community liaisons who have done additional preparation for a planning or design project.

Design Week

Design Week links the worlds of academia and practice in consideration of a local design challenge. Through a weeklong vertical charette, Design Week introduces students to collaborative and community-driven practice. Together, students assess a local problem and develop 'What If' solutiuons.

The Department of Landscape Architecture at the University of Kentucky held its first Design Week in 2012. In 2015, UKLA invited students from the Interior Design program in the College of Design to join us; we have since worked with students from Architecture and Historic Preservation as well. We have also enjoyed partnerships with the Tracy Farmer Institute for Sustainability and the Environment and UK Sustainability.

For more information, contact Carolina Segura.

Sustainable Development Kentucky PART ONE: Design Week