Raising Waterloo’s Church Row Neighborhood

The Church Row Neighborhood in Waterloo - one of the most diverse neighborhoods in Iowa – features prominently in Waterloo’s rich history and is an integral part of how the city will develop in the future.  To help guide the neighborhood toward a vibrant and sustainable future, five Urban & Regional Planning students are working with local organizations and residents to create the Church Row Neighborhood Plan.  

The University of Iowa Graduate College produced an article and a video in which Waterloo Mayor Quentin Hart explains the significance of this plan for Church Row and the entire Waterloo community.  The story also highlights how the project is positively shaping the educational experiences of the graduate students.

The Church Row Neighborhood Plan will establish a vision for the neighborhood, helping to foster a more safe, attractive, and welcoming area that provides opportunities for economic development, healthy and affordable living, and a high quality of life for residents.

Community participation is a key component of neighborhood planning.  Despite the pandemic, the planning students are finding ways to safely engage the public for their input. Being in the community to experience it, rather than doing the work from a distance, will enhance not only their understanding of the neighborhood and those living there, but will also create a final product that is broadly supported by those who are meant to benefit from the neighborhood enrichment.

The project is being performed in coordination with the Iowa Initiative for Sustainable Communities, led by Travis Kraus. The team of second-year master’s students includes Leon Begay, Ben Davison, Mark McLaughlin, Francis Menezes and Rachael Schaeffer.