City of Cedar Rapids Post-Flood Planning

Cedar Rapids, Iowa
  • Client
    City of Cedar Rapids
  • Market
  • Year

In June 2008 a destructive flood swept through Cedar Rapids. Hundreds of homes and businesses were lost including 300 city owned buildings and some of the city’s most prominent public structures. Following the flood, the City of Cedar Rapids a faced an almost overwhelming road to recovery. Civic leaders turned to OPN Architects to help with the analysis of the flooded spaces and to conduct a city-wide public participation process to chart a course forward out of the devastation. OPN was charged with researching, reporting, and presenting possible options and plans for more than dozen city-owned properties including:

  • Former United States Courthouse
  • Central Fire Station
  • Main Public Library
  • Animal Control Center
  • Veterans Memorial Building and Mays Island Parkade
  • Public Works Main Building
  • Cedar Rapids Transit Building

Working directly with the city staff, city council, and the appointed review boards, OPN designed an open, transparent, and participatory process to engage the citizens of Cedar Rapids. The process included large graphic illustrations, detailed presentations and open dialogue with a wide variety of citizens and stakeholders. More than 1,200 people participated in this civic dialogue over a six-month period. They learned, discussed, and shared their thoughts and ideas, shaping future development and helping the city to prioritize flood recovery projects.

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