Tuesday, September 14, 2021

A group of recent planning graduates recently received the Iowa Chapter of the American Planning Association’s Exemplary Student Project Award for the City of Tama’s 2040 Comprehensive Plan.

Congratulations to the 2020 graduates who created the plan as students: Victoria Halloran, Harrison Freund, Tunazzina Binte Alam, Peterson Wambuu, and Alex Bradshaw! The comprehensive plan served as their capstone project and was completed over two semesters. The project was made possible by the Iowa Initiative for Sustainable Communities which matches the needs of communities in Iowa with master's students in the School of Planning and Public Affairs, giving them hands-on professional experience.

Tama is located in central Iowa near Highway 30, adjacent to the Meskwaki Nation Native American Settlement and to the city of Toledo. The City of Tama’s last comprehensive plan was adopted in 1966. The 2040 plan applies Smart Growth principles to foster effective municipal management and sustainable development.

As students, the group applied sound planning principles and best practices to push for creative solutions to local community challenges. The plan is dynamic and covers a range of issues: economic development, housing, current and future land use, transportation, infrastructure and capital improvements, environment and sustainability, public health and safety, and intergovernmental collaborations.

The City of Tama is already implementing some plan components, including leveraging Section 28E agreements with neighboring City of Toledo, establishing a liaison with the Meskwaki Nation, and revamping the city's website to foster public engagement.

In addition to those accomplishments, the Plan looks beautiful. The planning team's full final report is available on the Iowa Initiative for Sustainable Communities' website.