Humboldt Downtown Revitalization

Humboldt, IA | Public Works


Taking a hands-on approach to comprehensive streetscaping through contextual design and alternative analysis, ISG works with stakeholders, such as the City of Humboldt, Iowa, to investigate and define community needs, ensuring that partners get the desired return on investment. Facade improvements, traffic studies, utility improvements, landscape architecture, site furnishings, lighting, and connectivity are but a few services ISG provided to improve the community.


The Humboldt Downtown Revitalization project has the potential to totally change the feel, function, and focus in downtown Humboldt, Iowa and have a positive impact on quality of life for its residents. The City initially underwent a Community Visioning Project, where it was made evident that there was major interest by various stakeholder groups to revitalize the downtown with pedestrian connectivity improvements, incentivize business exterior improvements, lighting improvements, drainage improvements, and an overall decrease in hardscape areas. The Community Visioning Project came away with many ideas, but the cost of the improvements were difficult to digest by residents.

As the City Engineer, ISG stepped in to evaluate opportunities and engage the community on a very comprehensive menu style approach to improvement selection. ISG also conducted a Traffic Study of the entire downtown and a Parking Study to identify opportunities for improvements.


Through numerous community engagement meetings, a list of improvements, negotiables, and non-negotiables were developed for the project, relieving much of the community’s budgeting concerns. ISG used drone, visualization, and videography technology to develop real life development videos for community viewing. The videos were then distributed to residents in multiple methods for viewing, giving them the perspective of a future downtown landscape and various levels of improvements.

Bagging the outdated traffic lights, installing temporary stop signs in place of some, removing some altogether, and utilizing delineators to outline the extents of future bump out locations were some of the items that were addressed. In an effort to also ensure City Maintenance Staff was comfortable with the improvements, during non-peak traffic hours each piece of different city equipment was operated in a trial for snow removal, street sweeping, and truck movements. Minor tweaking was performed in the field until staff was comfortable with said improvements.