Sunday, September 10, 2017

Imagine Mound View

Imagine Mound View, the Cedar Rapids neighborhood festival organized by Corridor Urbanism, drew a steady and significant crowd to a normally empty block of the northeast side Saturday afternoon. They found an array of food and craft vendors, political candidates, and representatives from non-profit and government agencies. Competing as we were against the annual Iowa-Iowa State football game (if that doesn't impress you, you're not from here), we showed the appetite here for good urban development that includes food options, bike trails and other recreational opportunities--if nothing else we learned that Cedar Rapids needs more skateboard facilities, stat--as well as just plan old street life.
We arranged for the 1600 block of F Avenue NE to be closed for the day
Decorated crosswalk
Candidates for November's City Council elections were available

A soap box was available (here used by mayoral candidate Gary Hinzman)

More people used the idea boards
The skateboarders were tireless (installation by EduSkate)

Demonstrations of curling and new styles of bikes

While the skateboarders occupied the trail, cyclists were invited
to try out a pop-up protected bike lane with various types of treatments
City staff were on hand to solicit people's input about development

A variety of food and drinks were available from vendors like
Keepin' Up With the Jones's
More vendors: Lightworks Coffee, KB Woodworking, Fiddle Sticks
Non-profit booths at Imagine Mound View
So, what happens next? This depends entirely, as it should, on the responses of individuals. Ideally, entrepreneurs notice the opportunities available in an area which currently is served by some outstanding bars but not much else. Homeowners as well as the two colleges are amenable to a variety of new commercial and housing endeavors. Owners of low-performing properties are encouraged by rising values to sell to people with big plans. The city can help by form- rather than function-based zoning, and by contributing urban-friendly infrastructure. I don't think we're looking for a "home run" like a heavily-subsidized Google or Amazon facility, though.  Mound View has the good bones and access to colleges and downtown that should make it attractive to private investment, all other things being equal.

F Avenue on an ordinary afternoon

The public library as base for belonging

Sophia Rodriguez at the Center for Urban Research and Learning Until schools reinvent themselves, which I don't see happening anyti...