Community Design Lesson Plans for Youth

Universal Playground | This activity introduces the 7 principles of universal design. Universal design is the design of buildings, products, or environments to make them accessible to all people, regardless of age, disability, or other factors. Students will create a new playground space that incorporates universal design principles.

Community Mural | This activity encourages students to get youth thinking about how murals can be used to convey a message, help build community, and be a source of pride. This activity will rely on the combined efforts of a group to create a large scale community mural.

Where Your Sidewalk Begins | This activity encourages students to consider their neighborhood and what elements make them feel safe or welcome. They will read a poem, discuss its meaning, complete a worksheet, and reimaginetheir own place "where the sidewalk ends."

Community Collage | This activity is intended to get youth thinking about ways they can be actively involved in transforming their community. Students will participate in a photowalking tour, complete a think sheet, and create a collage.



Sidewalk Subway

The Sidewalk Subway is a place making project that welcomes people to explore the unique character of downtown following the phased reopening of businesses due to COVID-19. Inspired by subway and metro maps from cities across the world, this project interprets the walking tour routes into subway lines with color coded markings on the downtown sidewalks, including ‘stops’ at destinations.

Download the how-to guide.



Downtown Bracket Challenge

The Downtown Bracket Challenge is a placemaking project that allows people to vote on a project they would like to see installed in their community. Voting is done through donations, supporting local needs while providing a tangible way to count votes. The winning project can be installed in the community, resulting in a project that people can see and experience.

Ready to play? Download the article that describes how to organize the project. Download the guide to build the drop-boxes.



Chalk and Talk

The ‘Chalk and Talk’ program seeks to engage people in a creative and accessible way about their feelings, thoughts and views on their city’s downtown. In essence it is a way to informally gather and summarize the varying views and experiences of attendees of local festivals and events about the city while they are immersed in it.

The intent is for this information to inspire dialogue and help inform the preliminary steps taken towards longer term design, planning and revitalization initiatives.

Download an overview of how to lead the program, the evaluation process, and how to build your own collapsible chalkboard.


CEDIK staff can facilitate a Chalk and Talk experience at your next event.

Commitment: $500 per event.

For questions, or to have CEDIK facilitate Chalk and Talk at an event in your community, contact Ryan Sandwick at (859) 218-1710.



Radical Walking Toolkit

Radical Walking is a process for recapturing our understanding of everyday spaces through slow walking. The initial idea of Radical Walking emerged from the works of a French theorist and philosopher from the mid-20th Century.

We structured Radical Walking as an engagement process and a tool to entice individuals to examine their surroundings. This toolkit provides a youth-focused example of guiding questions, activities and a survey questionnaire that can be utilized to help youth observe, interpret, and voice their ideas for vibrant communities. It can also be used by community leaders to enliven engagement in community and economic development efforts in more creative and holistic ways.

Download the tool here.


How to Create a Basemap in Inkscape

This document will provide a detailed walk-through on how to use Inkscape.

Inkscape is a free and open-source vector graphics editor; it can be used to create a basemap that can be used for planning purposes.

Download Inkscape here.