As part of their capstone project, second-year graduate students from the University of Iowaâ€™s School of Urban & Regional Planning created a Vision Plan to support Cedar County’s efforts to earn Great Places designation through the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs.
Concurrent with the development of the Cedar County Comprehensive Plan, students developed a Cedar County visioning document to support an application for Iowa Great Places designation, a competitive program administered by the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs.
A Vision Plan is the central component of the application and includes a holistic visioning effort with measurable goals and identifiable objectives that exemplify bold thought and innovation, and will foster a sense of identity by cultivating the unique and authentic qualities of Cedar County in order to have a transformative impact on community vitality and quality of life. The communityâ€™s vision for a more sustainable future provided a foundation for a set of goals designed to guide future activity. The overarching goals established for Cedar County are to:
Increase entertainment opportunities through art and culture.
Enhance recreation and outdoor amenities to increase quality.
Encourage downtown revitalization to strengthen community.
Projects identified through the visioning process relate to several categories mentioned in the Iowa Great Places program guidelines: Arts and Culture; Historic Fabric; Architecture; Natural Environment; Housing Options; Amenities: Entrepreneurial Incentives for Business Development; and Diversity. The plan includes an implementation process with a clear timeline for accomplishment. Students worked with multiple and diverse partners to identify and enhance the plan objectives. The Vision Plan also includes qualitative and quantitative measures for analyzing and achieving goals and the implementation of objectives.