Past Projects & Plans
Astig Planning has produced several plans focused on environmental justice, community building, and social and racial equity. Below are several highlighted projects and plans.
Johnson County Historic Poor Farm Master Plan
The Johnson County Historic Poor Farm is one of the few remaining relatively intact examples of the county farm model established in the 19th Century that cared for people with mental health and physical disabilities. Located in Iowa City, Iowa and owned by Johnson County, this 160 acre farm is also listed on the National Register for Historic Places.
In 2016, the Johnson County Board of Supervisors hired V Fixmer-Oraiz to lead the 10-year Master Plan process along with members of Iowa Valley Resource, Conservation, and Development. Astig Planning has implemented projects and items outlined in the plan, including: establishing a 15-acre pollinator meadow, creating a Community Action Team that consists of over 30 Johnson County agency and organizations, supporting a Disability Advisory Committee, hosting community activities, expanding local food production, and implementing soil improvements. This project will eventually be a hallmark destination for Johnson County residents and travelers alike and exemplifies Astig Planning’s ability to execute a large vision, manage several projects concurrently, and collaborate with and deepen relationships with local organizations.
To learn more about the Johnson County Historic Poor Farm, please visit jchistoricpoorfarm.com
Johnson County Inclusive Economic Development Plan
The Inclusive Economic Development Plan is a community-led planning effort in highlighting the existing opportunities and barriers experienced by Underestimated Community Members when starting and/or running a business in Johnson County, Iowa.
This plan is intended serve as a guidebook for community leaders and local governments working to cultivate an inclusive economic development ecosystem throughout Johnson County and spark positive change in the community. The stories, experiences, and recommendations of Underestimated Entrepreneurs and Community Members are the driving force behind the Inclusive Economic Development Plan.
University of Iowa's Reimagining Campus Safety Plan
The University of Iowa's Reimagining Campus Safety Action Committee (RCSAC) was formed in the summer of 2020 as a response to campus pressure for the institution to address practices and policies of their Public Safety Department. The RCSAC met weekly and produced three new prototypes for reimagining the Public Safety Department.
Our team worked with this committee to host focus groups with historically and structurally marginalized students, staff, and faculty to discuss aspects of each prototype and provide the RCSAC feedback to further develop their models. After revision, these models were then introduced to the wider campus community through online surveys, large open house events, infographics, posters, and focus groups. These efforts led to final recommendations from our team that were then vetted by the RCSAC. Our team led the committee through a series of strategic planning sessions and assisted in the creation of their final recommendations to the university president, along with a strategic action timeline for execution along a semester-by-semester timeframe.
Coralville Flood Resilience Action Plan
The Coralville Flood Resilience Plan is a collaborative project of the University of Iowa that worked closely with the City of Coralville. This plan engaged flood-vulnerable community members in a planning process that resulted in a collaboratively-created definition of resilience, an interactive community asset map, a business pledge campaign, and policy recommendations to City Council.
"Resilience is being proactive and developing networks of support (neighbors, local groups, local government), so we can ask for help when we have hit our limits, and be willing to help each other." - Coralville Residents
Flood Resilience Action Plan: Guidebook for Planners
The Flood Resilience Action Plan Guidebook (2021) is the culmination of years of planning and community engagement as an effort to reduce flooding and increase community resilience across Iowa. Astig Planning completed this guidebook in partnership with the University of Iowa Hydroscience & Engineering, the Iowa Flood Center, and Iowa Watershed Approach.
This paper is a guide for planners leading a community-scale flood resilience action plan (FRAP) effort in rural or small urban communities. The main objective of the FRAP is to enhance community resilience to frequent flood hazards. The FRAP, as an end product, aims to identify community resilience opportunities in the near future; however, we also place emphasis on the planning process itself as an opportunity to actively build community resilience.
Council bluffs brownfields revitalization plan
In 2019, the City of Council Bluffs received an EPA Brownfields Assessment Grant to identify known and potential environmental hazards on brownfield properties.The grant also allows the City to inventory, characterize, assess, and conduct cleanup and reuse planning activities on Brownfields sites.
Working with City staff and Impact7G, Astig Planning carried out a series of community input sessions throughout potentially impacted communities in Council Bluffs. This plan is organized into two Planning Areas and describes the outreach, education, and engagement activities that occurred. The first Planning Area was focused on the former Reliance Battery Factory and nearby residential and commercial areas. The second Planning Area focused on the former Federal District Court building located in the Bayliss Park neighborhood.
This plan is meant to showcase the ideas and possibilities expressed by the residents and shop owners of these respective Planning Areas, while providing information on some of the limitations the City may face regarding environmental remediation processes and available funding.