Nominate an Iowa project for the Best Development Awards

1000 Friends of Iowa is taking nominations through September 28 for the organization’s Best Development Awards. Projects anywhere in Iowa can be nominated in one of six categories: new residential, renovated residential, renovated commercial/civic, new commercial/civic, mixed use, and leadership. Click here for details on how to submit a nomination. I posted the selection criteria after the jump.

I’m active with 1000 Friends of Iowa, and while I’m not involved in choosing the award winners, every year I’m inspired to see the amazing development work being done around this state.

Click here for photos and information about the 2009 Best Development Award winners: the Marshalltown Public Library (new commercial/civic), Court Avenue Lofts in Des Moines (new residential), Durrant Building in Dubuque (renovated commercial/civic), Westfield Avenue Lofts in Waterloo (renovated residential), Plaza Towers in Iowa City (mixed use), and the Historic Millwork District Master Plan in Dubuque (leadership).

Projects in Davenport, Dubuque, Sioux City, Marion, West Des Moines and Iowa City won Best Development Awards in 2008. The ISU Design West building in Sioux City was one of my all-time favorite nominees.

Projects in Dubuque, Elkader, Davenport, Lake Park (near Spirit Lake) and the City of Okoboji won Best Development Awards in 2007. Projects in Conrad, Central City, Cedar Rapids, Waterloo and Des Moines won Best Development Awards in 2006. The 2005 award-winners were Iowa City’s Peninsula neighborhood, the Van Allen building in Clinton, the America’s River Project in Dubuque and the Strand Theater in Grinnell.

The number of award-winning projects in Dubuque is a testament to how hard city and business leaders have been working on redevelopment and sustainability in recent years. Many other Iowa towns and cities could learn from their example.

UPDATE: The Des Moines Rehabber’s Club is taking nominations for its 3rd Annual Most Endangered Buildings list through October 8. Click the link for details on that competition.

From 1000 Friends of Iowa:

Projects will be reviewed and awards granted based upon the project fulfilling the objectives of Smart Growth as defined below. You may also read the Principles of Smart Growth by clicking here.

Smart growth is the efficient use of our resources to develop sustainable communities that provide a high quality of life.

Smart growth efficiently utilizes our tax dollars and private investments through…

   * Reinvesting in existing communities that have experienced decline. This includes rehabilitation and reuse of older buildings and in-fill development.

   * Focusing new development around walkable, mixed-use town centers with a balance of housing and jobs.

   * Coordinating the provision of utilities and public services amongst local jurisdictions in a metropolitan region.

Smart growth is sustainable because it…

   * Distributes affordable housing throughout the region to improve access to employment opportunities and avoid concentrations of poverty.

   * Utilizes green building practices to conserve energy.

   * Attracts new business and industry, which increasingly consider quality of life factors when selecting communities in which to locate or expand.

   * Balances urban expansion with the protection of agricultural land and natural areas.

   * Empowers citizens to take responsibility for their community and become actively involved in the planning process.

   * Recognizes the interdependence of the social, natural and built environments.

   * Considers the impact of development on future generations.

Smart growth provides a high quality of life by …

   * Creating a framework to build community and establish a sense of place.

   * Providing walkable, mixed-use community centers that include civic, commercial and residential uses.

   * Offering residents a variety of choices in housing options and transportation modes.

   * Establishing urban green spaces and protecting environmentally sensitive areas from inappropriate development.

   * Engaging residents in a more active, healthy lifestyle.

   * Reducing health threats from air and water pollution.

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