“Imagine College Hill!” returns


City of Cedar Falls

The City of Cedar Falls and the College Hill Partnership are holding a virtual charrette to gather community input for the future of the College Hill area.


Calling all UNI students: the city of Cedar Falls wants you to use your imagination.

After a delay due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the city, in collaboration with the College Hill Partnership, is redoubling its efforts on the “Imagine College Hill!” project which began earlier this year.

The city began the effort as “Imagine Downtown” in downtown Cedar Falls, and City Communications Specialist Amanda Huisman said they are now excited to move it to the College Hill area. 

“We’re inviting the community to participate in planning for the future of the area,” she said. “We want to know from students, and the rest of the public, what would be helpful or beneficial to them for the future, and gain feedback in order to do the best job we can.”

As the city considers what renovations or additions should come to College Hill, the Imagine College Hill! project is designed to get the community’s perspective on walkability, bikeability, what new buildings should look like, access to campus, etc.

To do so, they will be hosting a week-long virtual design charrette Oct. 3-8, which includes a series of meetings, workshops and activities with city planners and consultants. This will give the public a chance to give ideas and feedback, and they can also take a look into what designers have been doing and the progress they have made so far. 

Students and the rest of the community are encouraged to Zoom in for the first event of the charrette, a virtual Community Design Workshop from 9-11 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 3. This will be a time to ask questions and give ideas and feedback to the consultants of the Imagine College Hill! project. 

The community can access the link via the  Cedar Falls City Government’s Facebook page.

Open design studio viewings and a virtual Q&A will also take place on October 5 from 5-6 p.m. and October 7 from noon-1 p.m, and daily “Today in the Studio” videos will be posted throughout the week.

After the weeklong virtual charette is over, the designers and consultants will take a look at the results and information and will give a presentation on Oct. 14, via Zoom, at 5:30 p.m. They hope to present and adopt the final plan by November or December.

Huisman encouraged community members and students to participate in the charrette. They are inviting the College Hill neighborhood and the city of Cedar Falls, she said, because they understand that even if participants don’t live near there or go to school there, they may visit College Hill on a daily basis, and their input can positively affect the community.

“Students are the ones there,” she said. “They will be able to give feedback and perspective to help show what would be easier for them, and it would be a great opportunity for future generations as well.”

Those who are interested in the virtual design charette and meetings for Imagine College Hill! can visit ourcedarfalls.com for the Zoom link and more information.