The Charrette Process

The Meaning of Charrette Local Government To Provide
The Charrette Process   Contact
The Charrette Schedule & Agenda   Download Printable version of the Charrette Process brochure
Charrette Steering Committee    

The Meaning of Charrette


Charrette means "cart" in French. Various architectural school legends hold that at the Ecole des Beaux Arts in 19th Century Paris, students were still sketching as carts carried their boards away to be juried.

Today, the term is used to describe a high speed, intensive creative session in which a team concentrates on specific design problems with citizens and presents solutions.


The Charrette Process

Four to nine days of on-site work are a prerequisite for a public workshop to be defined as a charrette. TCRPC’s charrettes are usually seven days long and held Saturday through Friday. During this time, residents, staff, elected officials, and other participating agencies work with a team of designers to produce a well-illustrated master plan for the revitalization and growth of their community. Working on-site and allowing public access for 12 hours each day fosters public participation and the community’s direct involvement in the decision-making process. This on-site work allows easy access to agencies, stakeholders and information.

The Treasure Coast Regional Planning Council's Design Studio assists the citizens in studying the many challenges faced by the community, and proposes specific solutions. Charrettes need to be booked at least six months ahead of time.


The Charrette Schedule & Agenda

Pre-Charrette Interviews: the Week Before
Two days of 30 minute interviews with community leaders, property and business owners, local government staff and elected officials, and members of other participating agencies.



Day 1 (Saturday)

8:00 am The design team arrives
10:00 am Charrette begins
  Welcome and Opening Remarks
  Overview of the Charrette Process/Slide Presentation
11:00 am Citizen Design Workshop
1:00 pm - 2:00 pm Lunch (work continues through lunch)
2:00 pm - 3:00 pm Pin-up presentation by citizens
3:00 pm Public workshop adjourns

Days 2 - 7 (Sunday - Thursday)

9:00 am - 9:00 pm Design Continues Open to the Public

Day 7 (Friday)

7:00 pm Presentation of work in progress
8:00 pm Public comments/questions
9:00 pm Charrette ends

Ten weeks later:


Delivery of the draft charrette report


Charrette Steering Committee

At least three months prior to the charrette, the local government will create a Charrette Steering Committee. Business owners, residents, and community leaders should be invited to form this committee. Elected officials and those running for elected office should not be included on the Steering Committee. The committee should have a chair, vice-chair, and recording secretary and should meet bi-weekly during the months prior to the charrette.


The Purpose and Role of the Charrette Steering Committee

Pre Charrette:
Guide the process that will lead to the development of a master plan. This includes, but is not limited to, date and location for the charrette.
Select caterer for public events (breakfast and lunch during the Saturday public session and coffee and cookies during the Friday presentation of work in progress). Caterer should be a local deli, grocery or restaurant.
Promote active citizen participation in the charrette process. This includes "word of mouth" and a marketing plan to reach as many businesses and residents as possible. Reach-out formats (designed by steering committee and delivered by local government staff) may include any combination of the following: press releases, flyers, door hangers, announcements at neighborhood associations and community meetings, reverse 911, TV news, etc.
Prepare a press release describing the event and upcoming activities.
Interact with the public prior to the charrette and bring the public's ideas and concerns to the committee for discussion
Represent interests of the groups and or organizations to which they belong.
Develop a mission statement.
Work with local government staff in the creation of the list of stakeholders to be interviewed by TCRPC prior to the charrette. This list should include major property/business owners in the study area, community leaders, members involved in previous efforts pertaining the study area, and representatives from different organizations within the study area (school principals, Florida Department of Transportation, local government staff and elected officials, churches, and neighborhood association presidents, etc.).
Ensure that property owners, residents, business community and other stakeholders are kept informed of activities of the steering committee and encourage their involvement in the public process. All steering committee members should be interviewed by TCRPC prior to the charrette.  
The Charrette Steering Committee During the Charrette:
Attend the public workshop on Saturday and the Work-in-Progress Presentation on Friday
Serve as resource to the design team
Inform media (newspapers, local radio stations, and local TV) of the ongoing events and public presentations
The Charrette Steering Committee After the Charrette:
Review the charrette draft report for consistency with community input.
Once a final master plan and report are delivered, continue to provide a link to the community as liaisons during the adoption and implementation of the charrette master plan.

Local Government To Provide:


BASE MAPS: Digital file or hard copy depicting R.O.W.'s, lot lines, street names, and building footprints. Information needs to be provided to scale, preferably in digital form (AutoCad or GIS compatible with ArcView).


BASE INFORMATION regarding engineering, drainage, and/or regulatory constraints on the site (if any).


TRAFFIC COUNTS for main roadways.


EXISTING CODES regulating plans or other adopted zoning requirements.


AERIAL PHOTOGRAPHS/ REDI MAPS of the area. Preferably both the originals (REDI maps) and in digital format (as TIF’s or JPEG’s).


GENERAL: Three weeks prior to the charrette, a list of property and business owners, community leaders, elected officials, CRA board members, and residents to be interviewed is to be provided to TCRPC. List should include names, position, and contact numbers. Interviews will be scheduled by TCRPC to be conducted in a public building in the study area. Interviews will be scheduled every 30 minutes and shall be held one week prior to the charrette.


CHARRETTE AND DESIGN TEAM WORK AREA: A public charrette area for Saturday workshop and presentation of work in progress the following Friday. Charrette design activities will take place in a public facility within the study area where the doors will remain open to the public between 9:00 am and 9:00 pm. The charrette team needs to have 24 hour access to the charrette work area.


PUBLIC NOTICE: Responsible for all necessary public notices. TCRPC can provide assistance with the design of flyers, door hangers, and press releases.


FOOD: Responsible for breakfast and lunch for charrette attendants during the public workshop as well as refreshments provided during the presentation of work in progress.


TEAM LOGISTICS: Lodging, food, and travel for the design team all provided by TCRPC.





For additional information, please contact
TCRPC’s Urban Design Studio
Tel: (772) 221-4060
Fax: (772) 221-4067