Small Towns Play Up Natural and Historic Assets, Attract Families Looking for Quality of Life

Published: Sep. 28, 2022 at 12:19 PM CDT

Destination by Design, thought leader and industry specialist, partners with communities to build and brand towns that draw new residents.

BOONE, N.C., Sept. 28, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- Destination by Design (DbD) is an innovative economic development firm based in Western NC and breaking ground across the U.S.

A family enjoys a peaceful trip down the Catawba River in McDowell County, NC
A family enjoys a peaceful trip down the Catawba River in McDowell County, NC(PRNewswire)

Comprised of urban planners, designers, and communication experts, DbD began by helping once-vibrant towns originally centered around the textile industry, but forced to reinvent. The firm provides the full range of services that towns need at every stage of re-development.

Local governments in North Carolina, including Wilkes and Rutherford Counties, have contracted DbD to create master plans intended to revitalize their downtowns and create enticing recreational areas. By capitalizing on historic main streets and public lands, DbD helps communities discover and leverage these as major new economic drivers. More plans and work samples can be found HERE.

Don Cason, Rutherford County, NC Tourism Director says, "Were it not for the vision and expertise of Destination by Design, our tourism infrastructure master planning effort wouldn't have been possible".

This cultural shift taking place in North Carolina is not an anomaly. Families nationwide are seeking out places to live that offer access to outdoor recreation, walkable communities, and local character. Beyond business parks and chain restaurants, they are looking for quality of life.

"Quality of life, outdoor recreation, and environmental protection are now major economic development themes," said Eric Woolridge, DbD's Director of Planning.

News of what DbD is accomplishing in NC is spreading to other parts of the US as more communities seek out the firm's expertise.  "I'm hearing from municipal governments around the country: 'We see what is happening in Western NC and we want that for ourselves,'" said Woolridge.

Among other states, DbD has worked in Oregon, Florida, Maryland, Wyoming, Alabama, and Michigan to design and implement placemaking strategies, and to brand and market each community's unique story.

About Destination by Design: As a multidisciplinary economic development firm, Destination by Design is comprised of local government planners, engineers, urban designers, and communication specialists. The team collaborates to plan, develop, brand, and promote destination-quality recreation and tourism assets. To learn more, visit and on Instagram @destination_by_design.

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SOURCE Destination by Design

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