Mason City North End Neighborhood Plan (URP)

Urban and Regional Planning students meet with Mason City's Development Services Director, Steven Van Steenhyuse
Academic Year 
Urban & Regional Planning
Project Partner 

As part of their capstone project, second-year graduate students from the University of Iowa’s School of Urban & Regional Planning will develop a plan for Mason City's North End Neighborhood.

Building upon last year’s efforts to update the Mason City Comprehensive Plan and create the community’s first Sustainability Plan, students will focus planning efforts in a targeted Mason City neighborhood to develop and create a neighborhood plan for stabilization and revitalization.  As a special area of focus, students will work with the Cerro Gordo County Public Health Department to create neighborhood-based strategies that generate positive health outcomes, such as increased physical activity and healthy food choices.  Mason City’s Blue Zones Community 2012 designation and corresponding health and wellness initiatives will also support the plan development.  

The plan will address multiple facets that help shape and define the target neighborhood, such as: housing, businesses and services, social cohesion, transportation infrastructure, land use and zoning, parks and recreation, public art, safety, organizational management, nuisances, and more.  Whereas the comprehensive and sustainability plans tend to outline broad community objectives, the neighborhood plan will include SMART goals and action steps to be implemented over a defined period of time.

Building relationships with neighborhood residents and gathering input from the entire community will be essential to the plan’s implementation and success, particularly for the development and implementation of action steps identified in the plan. 

As this will be the City’s first formal neighborhood-specific planning endeavor, students will also evaluate neighborhood planning models from other Iowa communities and comparable communities across the Midwest.  In addition to developing the neighborhood plan, students will recommend a framework for continuing neighborhood planning for the entire city.