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The original item was published from 12/9/2009 9:51:00 AM to 12/9/2009 9:51:05 AM.

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Dubuque News

Posted on: November 2, 2009

[ARCHIVED] Millwork District Master Plan Receives State Award

The plan has been selected by the Iowa Chapter of the American Planning Association (APA) for the organization’s 2009 Planning Excellence Award for Innovation in Best Practices for Sustainability.

The award was presented to City of Dubuque, Cuningham Group Architecture, Economics Research Associates, and Jeffrey Morton Architecture at the APA Iowa annual fall conference in Des Moines on Oct. 29, 2009. Awards in three other categories were also presented at the event.

Dubuque’s Historic Millwork District is located between downtown and the Mississippi River. The district - once the nation’s largest Millwork District - now covers 19 acres and contains over 1 million square feet of vacant warehouse space.

The Historic Millwork District Master Plan charts a course for the Millwork District to reestablish itself as a regional engine of growth. A copy of the plan is available online at Upon completion, the district will contain over 1,000 new residents and 1,000 new employees. Individual properties and the public realm will function as an urban ecosystem, and the District will be a unit with high economic value and low environmental impact. The district will stay within its rainfall budget, approach carbon balance, create sustainable jobs and housing, and reinforce the importance of connectivity and diversity within the city.

The plan provides a comprehensive approach for integrating sustainable practices throughout the implementation process. It organizes the strategies according to five infrastructure systems, or layers, to provide a framework for understanding and implementing a healthy and sustainable plan.
• “Blue Infrastructure” addresses water use and treatment approaches that contribute to better water quality.
• “Orange Infrastructure” includes efficient electrical, heating, and cooling systems that minimize the District’s carbon footprint.
• “Gray Infrastructure” includes buildings, parking, streets, and other redevelopment that is essential to establishing a viable mixed-use neighborhood.
• “Green Infrastructure” includes vegetation, parks, and open space that contribute to a healthy ecosystem, better air and water quality, and improved public life.
• “Red Infrastructure” includes arts and cultural spaces, amenities, and expressions that reinforce the identity of an area.

Each year, the Iowa Chapter of the American Planning Association asks its more than 350 members to nominate plans, projects, and individuals deserving recognition by the professional organization. Award nominees can be recognized in as many as thirteen categories ranging from planning excellence to distinguished leadership. Nominations were reviewed independently by a jury of professional planners from the Minnesota Chapter of the APA.

One of the jurors commented, “If I were considering investing in Dubuque as a resident or as an employer, and read this plan, I would be excited at the possibilities and enthusiasm of being in the middle of the Historic Millwork District."

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