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The Kansas City Design Center worked in collaboration with Hoxie Collective to develop a Research Capacity and Enhancement Framework with the goal of enhancing work in core areas of research:

1.    Community revitalization and redevelopment through tactical urban design
2.    Integrated research and data-driven urban design
3.    Green infrastructure-based public realm typologies and new urban design paradigms
4.    Creative place-making and place-keeping urban design strategies
5.    Community engagement and participatory design
6.    Transformative urban architecture and building typology investigations
7.    Exploration of funding strategies, in collaboration with on-call advisors, to support outcomes of research investigations.

The core areas of research were established through sustained work with Kansas City  communities. This work happens at the intersection of community and city needs, engagement of the critical field issues and academic objectives aimed at the creation of knowledge and expertise, and the pursuit and enhancement of the KCDC service learning mission towards the development of innovative teaching models. Past research has responded to the assets, challenges, and testing ground of the city through strong relationships between the academic institution and city departments. Through these real-world urban studies, core competencies have developed in relation to critical themes in the Kansas City region. KCDC provides a neutral base to support neighborhood advocacy, build an informed and empowered stakeholder base, navigate the physical, social, and economic fragmentation of our city and region, and elevate new models of community-centered design practice. 

A core dimension of the research enhancement framework will be greater expertise through engaging a larger number of faculty from both partner institutions of the KCDC (Kansas State University’s School of Architecture, Planning and Design and The University of Kansas School of Architecture and Design). This larger group of faculty is referred to as Affiliated Faculty. As the group of Affiliated Faculty grows, so does the complexity of the collaborations. Research Capacity Enhancement will help expand and diversify the KCDC base of funding through grants and endowments. Diversifying project and program operation funding will be key to a stable base of staff, coordination, teaching excellence, and increasing community impact.


This Research Capacity Enhanced Framework provides a flexible structure and associated resources for all parties including: 

  • On-Call Advisors Listing

  • Process Manual and Data Access

  • Funding Study

  • Peer Institution Study

  • Past Research Project Listing and Assessment

The framework was conceived and composed with the guidance of the KCDC Advisory Council and Research Enhancement Task Force with the goal of increasing the Kansas City Design Center’s positive impact on both students and Kansas City communities served.

The goal of the Kansas City Design Center is to promote excellence in the design of Kansas City’s built environment through education and public service. This report will help to further expand the role of the KCDC in thought leadership and the field of urban design. Enhancement in research capacity will facilitate an even greater generation of the knowledge of critical issues, dissemination of this knowledge, and sustained stewardship of community engagement and empowerment.



Kansas City, Missouri




Vladimir Krstic
KCDC Executive Director and Professor, department of architecture, Kansas State University

Document Links

Framework Document located HERE

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