This article was written by the Corridor Business Journal. You can read it on their website here.
The Iowa Great Places program, via the Department of Cultural Affairs within the Iowa Economic Development Authority, recently announced the redesignation of Iowa City/Coralville/North Liberty as an ‘Iowa Great Place’ for the next 10 years.
Iowa Great Places seeks to cultivate the local character and authentic qualities of Iowa neighborhoods, districts, communities and regions. At its core, the program embraces “creative placemaking” to build upon local creative and cultural assets to build more livable communities and vibrant places. Think Iowa City, the Iowa City/Coralville Area Convention & Visitors Bureau, applied for the designation on behalf of the three cities.
“This designation creates opportunities for funding, education, and inspiration on ways to improve our communities,” said Nick Pfeiffer, vice president of public affairs at Think Iowa City. “This is not an easy designation to receive. The application, reports, and site visits are arduous.”
Originally designated in 2008, this is the second time three communities have received re-designation. Projects funded, in part, from Iowa Great Places include the refurbishing on the Ranshaw House in North Liberty and the Literature Walk in Downtown Iowa City. The application for redesignation centered around placemaking along the Iowa River in Coralville and Iowa City and Centennial Park in North Liberty.
“There are so many opportunities to improve access to the Iowa River for recreation and entertainment. It will be a game changer when these come to fruition,” said Mr. Pfeiffer. “The plans in place for Centennial Park and the upgrades there will make that a regional destination.”
Mr. Pfeiffer added that most Iowa Great Place applicants are single communities. Iowa City/Coralville/North Liberty applying together is an outlier. “It speaks to how well our communities work together and share a singular vision for Johnson County.”