Geodesign at CC

Geodesign Workshops : October 2018 and May 2019.

“Workshop Prep talk for participants / interested others.   

 Workshop photo gallery .

The inaugural Geodesign Workshop at Colorado College, on October 22 to 24, 2018,  explored aesthetic, environmental, and infrastructure aspects of the Colorado College campus (including conventional and alternative energy, transportation, and green infrastructure), and the campus relationship to our local waterway, Monument CreekIt  brought together members of the CC and Colorado Springs communities who bring varied ideas, imagination, expertise and priorities for designs suited to the 21st century urban setting  of the campus and city center.  The workshop, limited to 20 participants, will be held in the GIS Lab in Tutt Library, from 3 – 5 p.m. on three consecutive days.

Our Geodesign workshop for the CC and Colorado Springs community was developed jointly with international colleague Hrishi Ballal, of GeodesignHub. Hrishi participated via videostream to CC. The 2018 CC Geodesign team consists of six members, who are establishing CC as a member-institution in the International Geodesign Collaboration, formed in 2018.  Geodesign is an approach that addresses spatial challenges that arise in built and natural environments, using  GIS and  relevant scientific/geographic data in an open, integrated process (for more, see links at bottom of this page). CC’s is the only liberal arts program invited to join the IGC group of 118 academic institutions, worldwide.

All IGC member-institutions carried out Systems Evaluations during the 2018 summer, and are commencing work on designs.  Community participation and engagement of stakeholders, through hands-on workshops, is fundamental to Geodesign.

One focus of the Geodesign workshops for the CC community and Colorado Springs partners is campus-creek relationships, using our Evaluation Models that encompass the area of the CC campus and Monument Creek, between Uintah Ave. and Mesa Ave.  The creek research, involving GIS data acquisition and analysis, was carried out in the Summer, 2018. [ See Geodesign at Colorado College blogposts. ]  The workshops provide an orientation to Geodesign and create an awareness of the ‘status quo’ for the CC campus, in terms of the way it functions within the urban landscape / physical-geological-hydrological surface environment.

A broader objective is examination of the condition of the CC campus within Colorado Springs city,  using  “Evaluation Models” and maps of Colorado College for analysis.   Ten systems are used for classification; examples are:  Energy, Transportation (e.g. public vs. shared vs. individual combustion), Green Infrastructure, Blue Infrastructure, Food Production/Supply.  To provide a larger spatial context, we also developed Evaluation Models that span 15-km and 30-km-square areas of the urban-mountain interface, from the CC campus toward the West. These will be put to use in the May 2019 workshop.

Group photo, taken at celebratory conclusion of Workshop. The “Wizard of Oz”-scale face is our inspiring leader, Hrishi Ballal! thank you, Hrishi.

Working in small teams, participants draw upon their own experiences/training and expertise provided by team mates, to determine whether each system is in an optimal state, and so should be maintained. If unsatisfactory, the teams  develop a rationale for constructive change that can improve CC’s situation in respect to each system.  How can campus-creek relationships be improved or enhanced?  Will this help to achieve City and County priorities, and encourage partnerships ? For the culminating step of Design, team members and then the entire workshop group negotiate to reach a consensus about what elements to change. They plan how to enact change, system by system, but also holistically, within the spatial bounds of the study region [campus/creek in October workshop; urban/mountain interface in May workshop].  The community-created, community- approved framework will provide a  ‘geo-design’ that may be used to advocate for change/restoration of feasible sectors of the CC campus and adjacent urban areas.  The experience and skills gained from the workshop contributes to participants’ qualifications for internships, further academic training, and future careers.

Next workshop, Who/Where/When:      The May workshop is limited to 30 or 35 participants.  It will be held in Tutt Library. Tentative dates are May 10-11, 2019.


Campus Master Plan

Monument Creek Planning documents:

Geodesign Resources: