A group of five Urban and Regional Planning master’s students spent the last academic year on a planning project for the North End neighborhood of Mason City, IA. All planning student capstone projects are supported through the Iowa Initiative for Sustainability (IISC) and are advised by two planning faculty members. For 2016-2018 Mason City was chosen as a partner community by IISC, engaging several university departments on 20 separate projects. Mason City benefited from the student projects and the School’s master’s students received real world experience they will be able to apply to their careers.
The North End neighborhood was in need of stabilization and revitalization. The university’s Iowa Now news site recently included an article about the planning student’s approach to the project, as well as projects for the neighborhood completed at the same time by students in public health and marketing. The planning team identified issues and made recommendations pertaining to transportation, housing, economic development, community engagement and image, and health. Their final report may be viewed on the School’s website.