In 2019-2020, two of our projects were completed in Keokuk, Iowa, located in the far southeast portion of the state. These two projects were part of a larger group of projects in Keokuk overseen by the Iowa Initiative for Sustainable Communities. Keokuk has experienced substantial population loss over the decades and our two projects were focused on developing recommendations for revitalizing the city's historic downtown, primarily by developing catalyst projects for city-owned properties. The other Keokuk project entailed making a set of recommendations for improving or expanding trails for cyclists and pedestrians. Keokuk's major economic hubs, including its manufacturing and large retail establishments, are often inaccessible for people who lack automotive transportation.
In Tama, Iowa, a town of about 2,000 located in north central Iowa, students developed a comprehensive plan. The community's last comprehensive plan had been completed in the 1960s and clearly needed updating. In the course of preparing an updated plan, students made recommendations for a revised land use map, but also made recommendations for shared services and possible merger with the neighboring town of Toledo. Students were also sensitive to Tama's relations to the Meskwaki Indian Settlement and made recommendations for increasing cooperation between the two communities.
Finally, a fourth group of students, in cooperation with the City of Iowa City and the Iowa City Downtown District, prepared a report on how historic preservation in downtown Iowa City can be more clearly linked with broad social, economic, environmental, and community development goals.
Keokuk Downtown Redevelopment Plan (coming soon)
Keokuk Pathways Plan (coming soon)