Projects & Plans
Our team has produced plans focused on environmental justice and social and racial equity. Below are a few highlighted projects and plans that exemplify our belief that planning can be a force for positive change in our communities.
As a field of practice, planning has a history of enacting policies and procedures that further disadvantage already marginalized communities. Here at Astig Planning, we practice environmental and community planning that acknowledges the resultant barriers and complexities of our society today. In order to serve our communities, we believe in creating plans that build bridges between decision-makers and community members that increase transparency, cultivate action, and deepen trust.
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.
Social & Racial Equity
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.
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.