July 28, 2021 | By: Katie Pratt
Lexington, Ky.

The University of Kentucky will host its first Mayor’s Design Workshop to equip Kentucky mayors with the skills they need to become chief designers and planners in their communities. 

The workshop is Oct. 6-8 at the Winchester Design Studio. It is a program of the Community Economic Development Initiative of Kentucky in the UK College of Agriculture, Food and Environment, state organizations and planning and design professionals.   

Ryan Sandwick, CEDIK’s community design program manager, said the goal of the program is to help mayors connect local planning and design efforts with economic development opportunities for their communities. The program is based on the successful Mayor’s Institute of City Design and DesignAlabama’s Mayor Design Institute. 

“These two case studies were ideal models to not only base our programming off of, but also to serve as proof that these programs can position mayors as the chief designers and planners in their community by making design accessible and valuable tools to help them address the challenges in their hometowns,” Sandwick said. 

The first workshop will focus on community housing issues including housing security and homelessness.  

Housing security and homelessness are issues that quickly overlap with many others, including zoning laws, discrimination, substance use disorder and economic fluctuations,” Sandwick saidIt is a challenge that communities of all sizes are facing, and something that design and planning can play an integral role in exploring various opportunities to help these communities work through challenges. 

Five mayors will be selected through an application process. During the workshop, each mayor will present their community’s unique housing-related challenge using maps, diagrams, data and other supporting documents. The mayors will connect with a planning and design mentor who specializes in their particular housing issue. They will work together to develop customized recommendations for the city. Mayors will leave with ideas and a summary document from the workshop that they can share with their community.  

Mayors are only responsible for transportation costs to and from the workshop location.  

After successfully completing the workshop, they will be eligible to apply for a two-day intensive spring workshop or a two-day intensive summer internship program. These programs will focus on implementing their recommendations. 

The deadline for interested mayors to apply is Aug. 6. Interested mayors can apply at  https://bit.ly/2ValPmL


 Ryan Sandwick, ryan.sandwick@uky.edu