The following formal announcement was made on February 18, 2016.
*See pdf version.
*Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ).
*Current draft proposal to City Council, with letters of support (pdfs).
Announcing Campustown Square
> An Open Call for Support
An effort has been initiated to turn an area in the heart of Campustown into a commonly-owned square. A nonprofit organization has begun to sponsor the effort, and is looking for people who are willing to participate and support the project in any way. The effort will unfold through a process that is piecemeal, and will be informal, action-oriented, open and inclusive, and driven by as wide of a consensus as possible from those who participate. The project could use your help, whether you want to be present in public forums or help envision how the space unfolds, or you want to donate money or help raise funds, or you want to ultimately help set up and beautify the space. The first open meeting will be held in early March, and anyone is invited to attend.
The first initiative is to demonstrate the idea by blocking off a small portion of a public area, to be used as a common space. The area will not block access to parking, loading or utilities. A proposal has been drafted and will be submitted to the Ames City Council to allow the idea to be tested for one year, starting as early as this Spring. If the proposal is approved, the area will be improved through a freely creative process which may include blocking access to cars, beautifying surfaces with paint, and adding plants and pedestrian seating. Before submitting the proposal, we would like to gain as wide support and participation as possible to build momentum and carry the project forward.
This project may bring momentum towards the greater desire among many of turning the entire open area into a square. As parking is an incessant issue in Campustown, there is also a proposal being made to reform how parking is managed in Campustown that will also need wider support and buy-in from people in Campustown. In the long run, through these projects, Campustown can be transformed into a more thriving place that people can regard with pride.