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"Cities have the capability of providing something for everybody, only because, and only when, they are created by everybody."

- Jane Jacobs, The Death and Life of Great American Cities

What is Urban Design?

Urban design is the art of strengthening the public realm to better meet the complex needs and aspirations of individuals and families. It refers to the arrangement and design of buildings, public spaces, and other elements of a city to make places that are more functional and livable. Community Planning Services, in collaboration with the Community Appearance Commission and the Public Art Committee, citizens, and other partners, helps to make sure that our streets and neighborhoods are walkable, well-connected, interesting, and ultimately enjoyable places that support social, cultural, economic, and civic life.

The urban design of a city is the result of countless tiny decisions made every day by homeowners, business owners, architects, planners, engineers, artists, and entrepreneurs. Whether it’s a shopkeeper placing new flower boxes and café tables outside her business on Main Street, or a street worker placing new bricks on the sidewalks of Innes Street, every small choice adds up to create the character and identity of our City over time. We encourage everyone to participate in this process and leave their mark on Salisbury for future generations. One way to get involved is through the Salisbury Community Appearance Commission or the Public Art Committee.

Community Appearance Commission

The Salisbury Community Appearance Commission (CAC) was established in 1984 to assist City Council with improving the quality and appearance of Salisbury. Their mission is to initiate, establish, and improve programs, projects, and policies that enhance Salisbury’s quality of life and to promote and recognize individuals, programs, and properties that enhance the beauty of our City. Additionally, the CAC educates and involves the public in efforts to make Salisbury a cleaner, greener and better place to live.

The CAC oversees a number of award-winning projects, including BlockWork, and also administers two incentive grant programs to promote economic development and aesthetic improvements downtown and along Innes Street. To efficiently manage so many projects, the CAC is organized into a number of sub-committees.


Projects by Sub-Committee:

Neighborhoods and Education Committee

  • Neighborhood Leaders Alliance
  • BlockWork
  • Spring/Fall Spruce-Up program

Grants Committee

  • Administers two incentive grants
    • Innes Street Improvement Grant
    • Municipal Service District (MSD) Incentive Grant

Landscape Committee

  • Landscape of the Month program

Visit Community Appearance Commission

Public Art Committee

The Public Art Committee (PAC) was formed in 2003 to celebrate the City’s history and culture through public art in the downtown. As an initial project, the PAC conceived the History and Art Trail – a series of bronze markers to commemorate notable people, places and events that have shaped the City’s heritage. Twenty markers have been installed, with another twenty in the planning stage.

In 2008, a sculptor who had recently relocated to Salisbury suggested we host a temporary sculpture show to attract a broader audience for arts and cultural tourism. Now in its ninth year, the show has a strong following among residents, visitors and exhibiting sculptors. Originally just in the downtown area, the show has expanded to local colleges and the busy Exit 76 interchange at I-85. As a result of the PAC’s efforts, the City has added thirteen permanent sculptures through public and private acquisition. In addition, two new major installations now celebrate significant events in local history.

Citing the overall contribution the sculpture show makes to the Salisbury community, the show recently received both the US Conference of Mayors City Livability Award and the Centralina Council of Governments Region of Excellence Improving Quality of Life Award.Future PAC goals include additional major permanent sculpture installations to celebrate Salisbury’s past, present and future for generations to come. The PAC embraces opportunities to work together with individuals of all ages and backgrounds, as it strives to make art accessible to all.


Committee Projects:

  • Salisbury Sculpture Show

    Between 18-20 sculptures by artists from multiple states are temporarily erected in downtown Salisbury and at our local colleges as part of our annual Sculpture Show.

  • History & Art Trail
  • Art in Public Places program

Dixonville-Lincoln Memorial

The Dixonville-Lincoln Memorial will connect Salisbury’s past with its present and future. This concept plan grew from a collective desire to pay tribute to the individuals who were buried at the Dixonville Cemetery, to interpret the history of the Dixonville-Lincoln area and to educate and inspire future generations of Salisbury residents.

Visit Memorial Website
vertical illustration of urban city center transitioning into countryside
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