With fewer than 3000 residents, this midwest town is getting community revitalization assistance from architecture students

The University of Nebraska – Lincoln’s College of Architecture and the Southeast Nebraska Development District are partnering with community members on a downtown revitalization plan for David City, Nebraska.

Mayor Alan Zavodny said, “We are looking forward to our partnership with SENDD and the University of Nebraska for David City’s downtown revitalization. The downtown of a community like ours is the heartbeat of our community. We realize the importance of this endeavor.

Community members were asked to take a survey to help the students better understand the needs of the downtown area and community concerns.

2010 photo of downtown David City is by Ammodramus via Wikipedia.

Students in the CRP program will have a great opportunity to learn from this real-world planning project and apply their expertise and skills to help the community,” said Zhenghong Tang, professor and director of the Community and Regional Planning program.

Faculty and students will conduct a community stakeholder survey, participate in numerous community meetings, make field surveys and assessments, and offer planning strategies and recommendations.

This downtown revitalization plan will be a great tool to guide the city on the track to potentially igniting the local economy,” lecturer Frank Ordia said.

The plan will draw on David City’s strengths,” with Ordia noting that “the number of historic buildings here are the foundation of reimagining David City.

Other community officials are also excited about the project.

We are grateful that SENDD and UNL are willing to help our community create a vision for the future of our downtown,” said Clayton Keller, city administrator. “David City recently completed a downtown project that addressed the infrastructure needs of the area. We hope to keep that momentum moving forward as we turn that focus to economic and property improvements.

The downtown revitalization plan also has support from local business owners.

As a longtime resident and business owner in David City, it’s exciting to hear of a potential downtown revitalization effort,” said Mike Moravec, owner and president of Moravec Financial Advisors, Inc. “David City has a lot of positive things happening, and the timing is perfect for a refresh of our downtown. I know the business community will welcome CRP and SENDD’s help on this project. It’s important to our local economy that our downtown be an inviting space that people want to come to dine, shop and do business.”

Students began working on the plan in the first week of September, 2021 with a trip to David City for a community meeting and tour.

Featured photo is by Ava Gagner / University of Nebraska.

See University of Nebraska – Lincoln’s College of Architecture website.

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