Community Design & Visioning

CD-DIAL (Community Development–Data Information and Analysis Laboratory)
Community and Economic Development Extension and Outreach, Institute for Design Research and Outreach, College of Design

CD-DIAL works with communities, organizations, and state and local agencies to assist and build decision-making capacity in these groups, especially as they collect and use information about their local population members or the constituents they serve.


We conduct surveys through mail, online and telephone surveys. We work with stakeholders from conceptualizing the survey (i.e. questionnaire development, sampling, etc.) up to report writing/presentation of the result. We work closely with the client. The team gathers and analyzes the data, writes the report, and presents the results as requested by the client.

CD-DIAL can produce mailing lists if needed.  We can perform quantitative and qualitative analysis of data as well as spatial representation of data in the form of GIS maps.

Communities to Community (C2C)
Community and Economic Development Extension and Outreach

The 2-year C2C program will offer bundled design, educational, business, and leadership development services related to community development. The services will be customized to promote the positive changes and outcomes that client communities desire. Potential outcomes include stabilizing downtown environments; improving citizen participation; encouraging diversity; capitalizing on small business and tourism opportunities; meeting housing needs; or achieving quality of life goals. Selected communities will work in a partnership with ISU faculty, staff, and students.

Community Design Program
Iowa Architectural Foundation

Provides urban planning and design assistance to communities through a participatory public decision-making process that brings organizational representatives, community officials and concerned citizens together with professional designers. Process culminates in an intensive visioning workshop or “charrette” to help all parties visualize the possibilities suggested by community development initiatives.

GIS Group Short Courses
College of Design

One and two day courses for groups of 6 to 12 participants covering basics of ArcGIS 10.X and extensions, geodatabase construction, CommunityViz, and 3D integration with SketchUp. Hands-on experience. Continuing education units available.

keywords:  training, mapping, GIS, GPS

GIS: Volunteered Geographic Information (VGI)
Community and Economic Development Extension and Outreach, Department of Landscape Architecture

New interactive technologies on the Web such as Google Maps, Google Earth or other Web 2.0 applications capable of geotagging information enables citizens to create their own personal maps of a community or specific place. Termed Volunteered Geographic Information (VGI) this information can be used to by decision makers as they plan the future of a community.

Introduction to Planning & Zoning workshops
Community and Economic Development Extension and Outreach, Office of State and Local Government Programs, College of Design, Department of Community and Regional Planning

This three-hour program is held in eight locations annually every spring.  It is designed to introduce the basic concepts of planning and zoning to local officials.  Topics include the comprehensive plan, the zoning and subdivision ordinances, and the roles of elected councils and boards, the planning commission and the board of adjustment in land use decision-making.

Iowa State University Community Design Lab
Community and Economic Development Extension and Outreach, College of Design

We believe that communities can be made more resilient with good design.  We partner with community leaders, non-profit organizations, and government agencies throughout the State of Iowa, using design knowledge and research expertise to help shape vibrant and empowered communities. We assist with projects related to health and wellness, community revitalization, and infrastructure and prototypes. 

Iowa Statewide Urban Design and Specifications (SUDAS) Program
Institute for Transportation

SUDAS is the statewide standard for design and construction of all types of common urban public works improvements (generally, those found in the street rights-of-way) in the State of Iowa. The program primarily consists of the maintenance and improvement of two manuals, design and specifications. These manuals are used to provide uniform design guidelines for engineers and construction specifications for contractors.

Iowa Traffic Safety Data Service (ITSDS)
Institute for Transportation

ITSDS provides agencies with the most readily available crash data analysis resources in Iowa. It was created to fill the gap between what safety data users can gather for themselves and what they can obtain from experts. ITSDS uses the latest in geographic information systems technology developed by the Iowa DOT. Using the data and analyses provided by ITSDS, agencies can help reduce the number of crashes in their jurisdictions.

Iowa’s Living Roadways Community Visioning Program
Iowa Department of Transportation, Department of Landscape Architecture, Trees Forever

Provides professional landscape planning and design services to rural Iowa communities with populations under 10,000. Communities learn to employ participatory decision-making processes and implementation strategies, and each community receives a conceptual design plan that can be used to implement landscape and transportation enhancements. Past projects include transportation corridor enhancements, community signage, downtown streetscape improvements, recreational trail development, etc. Collaborating partners include Iowa Department of Transportation, Iowa State University Department of Landscape Architecture, Trees Forever.


Monitoring Recreational Trail Use
Community and Economic Development Extension and Outreach, Department of Landscape Architecture

In order to make more informed decisions regarding developing new recreational trails or materials to promote trail use it is useful to know what trails are currently used most often, what time of day they are used and if there are any trails that are underutilized. To answer these questions, trail use monitors can be installed to count the number of users over a given period of time. This program is designed to provide assistance and equipment necessary to collect this information.

PLACE (Partnering Learning and Community Engagement)
Institute for Design Research and Outreach, College of Design

Provides assistance to create concept plan aimed at enhancing and promoting quality and character of a landscape or community. Past projects include wayfinding plans, graphic design for Main Street businesses, development of downtown revitalization plans, city and county comprehensive plans, park and trail master plans, etc.

Special Topics Workshops
Institute for Design Research and Outreach, College of Design, Department of Community and Regional Planning

These two- to three-hour programs will be offered as evening programs on request.  The host city or county and Mr. Taylor will agree on the topic in advance.  Popular topics are annexation, the Iowa Smart Planning Act, extraterritorial zoning and subdivision controls, the roles of the elected body, planning commission and zoning board of adjustment, current hot topics in planning law, and innovative planning practices.