More than just a city project

Great post on the Mississippi Drive Corridor Project and Planning for People and Places by Kevin Jenison, Communications Manager for the City of Muscatine!

City of Muscatine

032118 BlogI recently ran across the accompanying picture posted by Project for Public Spaces on Twitter and I could not help but think just how valid the point is and just how much it resonates with the reconstruction of the Mississippi Drive corridor.

“If you plan cities for cars and traffic, you get cars and traffic. If you plan for people and places, you get people and places.” – Fred Kent.

Kent is one of the founders of Project for Public Spaces and one of the leading authorities on revitalizing city spaces. His PPS biography also notes that he is one of the foremost thinkers in livability, smart growth, and the future of the city.

And the future of Muscatine is what the Mississippi Drive Corridor Revitalization Project is all about.

When U.S. 61 was the main thoroughfare through Muscatine it was designed and built for cars and traffic. It was a…

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A vision of connectivity

City of Muscatine

The vision began with a thought to transform a riverfront filled with old buildings, grain bins, and a switchyard into a park that the citizens of Muscatine could be proud of and visitors would want to make a destination. Out of that, according to Steve Boka, former Community Development Director for the City of Muscatine, came the realization of a strong connection between the riverfront and Downtown Muscatine, and the need for a safer Mississippi Drive.

“The thought was that once we embarked on creating this park, that would create interest in redevelopment of our downtown,” Boka said. “At that time there was not much going on in the second stories of our downtown.”

The vision expanded with the realization that the park would attract people to the area and that would ignite investment into the downtown area. But to get from the park to downtown people needed a safe…

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Online or on the phone, we are here to listen

City of Muscatine

The City of Muscatine website has a wealth of information that will answer most questions posed by concerned citizens. There are times, however, when the answer to a question is not fully available. When this happens, citizens can contact the City of Muscatine for a better explanation.

All too frequently we see items posted on social media sites that some residents of the community are having difficulty in communicating their comments, concerns, or ideas to the City of Muscatine. We regret that some citizens find it difficult to ask questions or relay information to City of Muscatine staff, and we would like these individuals to know that we appreciate their desire to help us better serve Muscatine. We appreciate all the residents of Muscatine along with their questions, comments, and ideas on how to make Muscatine even better.

Here are the top ways to communicate your comments, concerns, or ideas…

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My hometown could learn from Muscatine

Great post by Kevin Jenison, Communications Manager for the City! Muscatine’s downtown has a lot going on and many more opportunities! More to come…

City of Muscatine

Riverfront Park - playgroundOver the weekend I had the opportunity to return to my hometown for a short visit with family and friends. It has been eight months since I moved to Muscatine, but it seems like years since I left the county seat (population 8,000) surrounded by farm land that I lived in for 55 years. The town does not sit on the banks of a river but it does have a medium size lake on which my dad taught me how to sail and how to fish and I taught my children the same and even taught them how to swim.

Muscatine is about three times the size of Paris (Illinois, not France), sits on a world famous river, and has endless possibilities for young and old alike. Realistically the two communities have little in common. Beyond that surface reality, however, is a commonality shared by the people – rich, middle-class…

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Green spaces IS the life for me

City of Muscatine

From 1965 through 1971, television viewers were treated to the antics of two city dwellers who moved to the country in the CBS-TV sitcom “Green Acres”. While the husband (Eddie Albert) longed for the rustic farm life, his sophisticated wife (Eva Gabor) longed to be back in the city and patiently waited for her husband to come to his senses.

I remember watching the show but never paid attention to a hidden message lodged deep within the comical scripts … the constant battle between the concrete jungle and green spaces.

green-acresThis “hidden” message was unique in retrospect as I realized that it was during this time period that the affordability of the automobile led to the ability to travel greater distances which ultimately aided in the creation of great gathering places called shopping malls.

In Paris, Illinois (population 8,500), we still had our small businesses (or mom and pop stores if you prefer) in…

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The many benefits of trees

City of Muscatine

In recognition of National Arbor Day (Friday, Apr. 28), Parks and Recreation Director Richard Klimes offered the following on the value of trees to the citizens of Muscatine.

Trees near Marina

The dictionary definition of a tree is very vague: “a woody perennial plant, typically having a single stem or trunk growing to a considerable height and bearing lateral branches at some distance from the ground.”

However, trees are much more than that.

The definition provides a physical description but trees are more than just a pretty thing to look at throughout the seasons. Trees provide many benefits from climate control, to health benefits, to renewing the environment around them.

Trees help combat climate change. Not only do they produce oxygen to clean and renew our air, trees cycle out carbon dioxide caused by pollution. With air quality and climate control being a persistent public health issue, trees are needed to improve air…

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Walkability over driveability

City of Muscatine

04-25-17 Green Space - Riverfront Park Green spaces like this one at Riverfront Park allow individuals to enjoy social interaction and nature along the banks of the Mississippi River. The wide sidewalks, sitting areas, play areas, and landscaping add to the walkable nature of the park. These and similar concepts will be used as the City of Muscatine continues its efforts to transform the downtown business district and other areas of the community into more pedestrian friendly gathering places.

It should not be a surprise to anyone that the City of Muscatine has, as one of their goals, the development of placemaking projects that will maintain local amenities for residents while also attracting and retaining a quality workforce. The placemaking philosophy, an idea that changes the emphasis of urban design from automobile traffic to pedestrian traffic, guides the public and private sectors of Muscatine in the development of plans for the riverfront, the downtown area, and…

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