University of Iowa

Mason City North End Neighborhood Plan

Academic Year 
2017-2018
Project Partners 

As part of their capstone project, second-year graduate students from the University of Iowa’s School of Urban & Regional Planning developed 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 focused 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 worked 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.  The plan addresses 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 includes 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 was essential to the planning process, and community leadership will be essential for the plan’s implementation and success.  The project has revived interest in the inactive North End Alliance 501c3 organization, empowering a new generation of neighborhood residents to advocate for positive changes in the North End.