Charleston Civic Design Center Receives Grant to Support FEMA Research

May 9, 2012

Grant part of NEA announcement of 788 Art Works grants and $24.81 million in funding nationwide
CHARLESTON, SC – May 8, 2012 – National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Chairman Rocco Landesman announced April 25, 2012 that the Charleston Civic Design Center is one of 788 not-for-profit national, regional, state, and local organizations nationwide to receive an NEA Art Works grant.
The Charleston Civic Design Center is recommended for a $15,000 grant to review current FEMA regulations to discover ways to promote an active urban environment in areas governed by FEMA Velocity Zone regulations. Current Velocity Zone regulations end up creating an un-engaging urban streetscape by removing the street level activity in structures in an attempt to protect against loss in the case of specific catastrophes. The product of this grant will be to develop design guidelines and architectural strategies that encourage street level activity in these areas in an effort to mitigate the negative urban design impacts caused by the current regulations.
With significant accomplishments and ongoing efforts to improve Charleston’s public realm, the city works to create settings that encourage civic engagement, beauty and public value for all of its citizens, as well as to the many visitors to the city. The City and its Civic Design Center continuously engage in urban design planning and research, both for the advancement of Charleston and as a model for all cities.
Mayor Joseph P. Riley, Jr. said, “Good design is a part of our community excellence.  It is also part of our responsibility to follow the guidelines which provide a safe environment in flood prone areas while encouraging excellence in civic design.  This grant will create a better understanding of the way in which we can build to the highest safety standards while also providing a pleasing street scape which allows interaction at the street level.”
The NEA received 1,624 eligible applications under the Art Works category for this round of funding, requesting more than $78 million in funding. For a complete listing of projects recommended for Art Works grant support, please visit the NEA website at