About Us
About Us

About Us

The life and vitality of a city relies on the engagement of people in everyday community life. TheCenter For Neighborhoods(formerly the Louisville Community Design Center) envisions a community driven by an array of lively civic institutions working in partnership with local government and one another to create sound neighborhoods and community. 

Our purpose is to empower citizens and citizen-based institutions to have an effective role in making their neighborhoods good, decent, and attractive places to live. Continuing 33 years of work, the Center For Neighborhoodspursues its mission and fundamental purpose through leadership education, through community planning, and by assisting neighborhood-based development and improvement.


Goal of Learning:
Cultivate and support effective neighborhood associations citywide through leadership education.  Build learning networks around common concerns and approaches, drawing together resident leaders from diverse neighborhoods, perspectives, and experiences.

  • The Neighborhood Institute. Begun in 1987, the Neighborhood Institute is a comprehensive leadership program designed to provide neighborhood leaders with the skills and understandings necessary to lead effective neighborhood organizations.  The Institute is conducted as a twelve-week seminar twice each year.  
  • NI Graduate Seminars Occasional seminars conducted for graduates of the Neighborhood Institute that “drill-down” into issues, skills, and best practices introduced to leaders via their participation in the NI.

Planning and Development

Goal of Planning and Development:
Assist neighborhoods to articulate common goals and purposes and to envision places and functions that respond to resident needs and aspirations.

  • Neighborhood Plans.  In association with the Metro Louisville Department of Planning and Design Services the Design Center facilitates neighborhood-specific planning efforts.  Through public meetings, local task force working committees and Design Center staff efforts, we collect, document and analyze existing conditions en route to the preparation of a strategic plan that will guide future policy and development.  Visioning sessions lay the groundwork for recommendations concerning the major elements of land use/community form, mobility, housing, economic development, parks and open space, historic preservation and environmental resource protection.
  • Neighborhood AssessmentsWith the Metro Louisville Department of Neighborhoods, the Community Design Center conducts neighborhood assessments throughout metropolitan Louisville.  In partnership with neighborhood and civic organizations, small cities, and members of Metro Council, each assessment solicits broad input from Census 2000 data, resident quality-of-life surveys and public resident workshops. The ultimate product of these efforts is an agenda for action by the neighborhood, its neighborhood-serving institutions and Metro Louisville government.
  • CHDO Train & SustainFledgling Community Housing Development Organizations (CHDO) are given the necessary tools forincreasing their capability, effectiveness and sustainability through a combination of training and technical assistance.  A series of eight classes is offered twice each year and ongoing technical assistance is provided following the classes.
  • Brownfields InstituteIn partnership with Metropolitan Development Authority and the University of Louisville, CFN is conducts a series of workshops, “Rethinking Brownfields” with the purpose of creating a task force for the corridor bounded by Algonquin Parkway, Broadway and 9th and 22nd Streets.  Residents, developers, real estate investors, environmentalists, public agency representatives, neighborhood institutions, business and property owners are convening to examine the assets, possibilities and barriers in revitalizing the area.                     
  • Parks and Open Space. Assistance to neighborhoods in the development of plans for open space and parks that benefit and support neighborhood quality of life.
  • UofL/UK Urban Design Studio. The Center For Neighborhoods is a founding partner of the University of Louisville/University of Kentucky Urban Design Studio, a teaching facility established in 1998 as a groundbreaking collaboration between the University of Louisville School of Urban and Public Affairs (SUPA) and the University of Kentucky College of Design.  Typical of CFN’s practicing relationship with the UDS, the CFN annually conducts a graduate-level Neighborhood Planning Studio at the UDS, focusing on a current planning effort in metro Louisville neighborhoods. 


Goal of Organizing:
Organize, nurture and promote resident and family networks for community improvement and results.

  • Making Connections. Working with the Annie E. Casey Foundation, the Making Connections Network is helping engage residents within four center city neighborhoods around a variety of strategies for neighborhood improvement and renewal.
610 S. Fourth Street, Suite 609, Louisville, KY 40202   |   Phone: 502-589-0343   |   Fax: 502-589-0616   |   info@centerforneighborhoods.org