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 combined green infrastructure practices, improved pedestrian experiences, and streetscaping improvements in a four-block stretch to create a welcoming and sustainable downtown core. This project was a multi-year process, beginning in 2017 when the City partnered with Iowa’s Living Roadways to complete a Community Visioning assessment. Following this assessment, ISG worked closely with residents, stakeholder groups, and City staff on prioritizing the goals identified in the visioning process to create and refine designs focused on improving the pedestrian experience and introducing green infrastructure into the streetscape.


Throughout the design process, ISG utilized various community engagement techniques to solicit input, while also integrating drone, visualization, and videography technologies to create graphic representations of the design concepts. These videos gave the community an opportunity to envision how they would interact with the proposed downtown improvements. Additionally, ISG conducted a downtown traffic and parking study to analyze current needs and patterns and identify potential improvements to enhance pedestrian accessibility and safety. Recognizing hurdles cities typically encounter in successfully implementing pedestrian improvements and stormwater practices, City Staff and ISG worked closely together during the design process to test proposed designs and verify existing city equipment and practices could be used to maintain the improvements.

Key design elements focused on the pedestrian experience included alterations to the roadway configuration to improve safety and walkability, introducing bike racks and other site furnishings to accommodate varied transportation methods, adding stop signs and other traffic control measures, and repurposing seldom used parking spaces for pedestrian enhancements. The final design also incorporated multiple stormwater management practices like native plantings, soil quality restoration, curb cuts, and stormwater harvesting areas. These stormwater practices combined with pedestrian improvements create a revitalized downtown space that is collectively envisioned, environmentally responsible, and inviting to all users.