PLACEMAKING THEME #1
revitalize over restore
Beauty matters. Aesthetics reflect community, testifying to residents’ highest aspirations and dreams. Out of devastation comes incredible opportunity for revitalization, reinvigoration, and reimagination of what was and what can be. The choices our community makes in the coming years and how and where we invest resources will be challenging, but prioritizing quality over quantity will express to the world that we care tremendously about the vibrancy of Marshalltown.
Catalysts for success
CREATE A CULTURALLY VIBRANT AND WELCOMING DOWNTOWN.
With new capital investments into downtown restoration, Marshalltown has the opportunity to construct an area that respects historic architecture and reflects contemporary contributions from diverse stakeholders.
SPARK SPONTANEOUS CONNECTIONS.
Main Street is a central location that can offer a neutral space for people of diverse cultures, backgrounds, ages, and interests to connect. The courthouse grounds and vacant lots are prime opportunities for a plaza. Populating a plaza with art activations, cultural events, and opportunities for joy and play is key to its success.
ENERGIZE UNUSED SPACES.
Resist the impulse to tear down and rebuild; instead, consider reinvention for spaces that are part of the cultural fabric of the community. Unleash artists on spaces set to be demolished. Organize pop-up window galleries along Main Street. The possibilities are limited only by our imagination and willingness to act and invest boldly.
EXPAND THE COLOR PALETTE.
A growing number of Marshalltownians are connected with cultures that have a heritage of vibrant visuals as a distinctive piece of their community aesthetic. By intentionally considering the role of color, the city’s palette can help achieve goals of inclusion. Input from local cultures will help residents feel represented and seen. The Role of Color in a Sense of Place provides an analysis of how the authentic use of color can deeply impact environments and community wellbeing.
Inspiration Spotlight: South Beach, Florida and San Antonio, Texas intentionally welcome Latin American design motifs and bright colors in public spaces. This gives residents a proud sense of place and beckons visitors.
FIRST IMPRESSIONS MATTER.
Incentivize creative interventions along the three main corridor entrances to the city. Local organizations, matching funds, and the buy-in of private homeowners and businesses can instigate fun and memorable installations.
WHAT HAPPENS IN A PLAZA?
The physical setting of an accessible, pedestrian-focused plaza fosters stronger social connections. Cultural festivals and celebrations bring people in. Recurring programming — think food trucks, pop-up soccer, yoga sessions, farmer’s markets, make-and-take art opportunities, performances, and other regular usages — keep people coming back.