Project Summary

Recent efforts undertaken by the CDDL have provided the Town of Princeville, North Carolina with technical design assistance focused on design and programming strategies for celebrating and building community capacity around cultural and heritage-based tourism. The product of this effort, the Greater Princeville Report (2018), identifies and proposes methods of physically and programmatically connecting and activating culturally significant places in and around the community.

The report’s recommendations were shared with community leaders, and aspects of the plan continue to guide ongoing community assistance efforts. Examples of initial outcomes include but are not limited to the construction of the Princeville Mobile History Museum (2019) and development of “Welcome to Princeville” signage (2019) at each of the (four) primary entrances to the town. The activities undertaken through this initial study enabled key discussions with local decision makers and community partners, ultimately serving to generate continued interest in pursuing specific proposals contained within the report, including assessing and recommending potential procurement, conservation and/or use(s) of vacant and underutilized lands within the town limits.

This project phase is advancing recovery and rebuilding activities related to assessing and prioritizing vacant and underutilized parcels for their conservation and mitigation potential(s). The project is currently undertaking research, engagement, design, and communication activities including, but not limited to: [1] meetings with community leaders (i.e., town board/staff) to elicit input regarding items such as: short- and long-term issues, opportunities, goals, and management capacity; [2] assessment and prioritization of vacant and underutilized parcels; [3] development of schematic programmatic alternatives to be used by the town and/or partners as evidence/leverage for seeking larger procurement/implementation grants and to inform respective requests for proposals (RFPs); and [4] continued evaluation of issues and opportunities related to the impacts of both extreme events (i.e., Hurricane Matthew) and “everyday” nuisance flooding. These activities incorporate FEMA flood map updates, new property acquisition data, and etcetera, as they become available.

The processes undertaken seek to strategically combine FEMA acquisition properties (i.e., “buy outs”) with existing publicly owned (town/county/state) assets to create a connected system of educational, recreational, and environmental amenities in areas that are otherwise vulnerable to environmental hazards, vacancy and neglect. Outcomes of this research are focused on flood-risk reduction and enhancements to public safety, most specifically related to repetitive flood-loss properties and improvements to long-term environmental and civic functions within this historically flood-prone community.

The goals of all processes undertaken and products delivered by the CDDL include: [1] reduce the impacts of environmental hazards, specifically flooding; [2] increase public access to the benefits of nature and recreation; [3] meaningfully engage local and regional stakeholders, including serving vulnerable communities through participatory activities; and [4] develop feasible, contextually appropriate and high-performing designs.


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