civic + streetscapes


After completing the Iowa City Downtown and Pedestrian Mall Streetscape Plan Update, Genus was contracted to provide full landscape architectural design services for the redevelopment of Washington Street. Its redesign became an important contributor in the reinvigoration and freshening up of Iowa City’s downtown core. The streetscape section was redesigned from diagonal parking to parallel parking in an effort to enhance the public realm and create a greater “downtown” feel. The extra wide sidewalks (20 to 30 ft. in width) create new opportunities for outdoor dining, clustered seating and new trees and colorful shrub and groundcover plantings. At the historic Englert Theater, the expanded sidewalk offers ample space for outdoor music, live performances and pre- and post-show gatherings. All streetscape components have been updated and unified.  Custom pedestrian and roadway lighting recall the dome and cornice seen on the historically significant Old Capitol. Iowa City is designated as a UNESCO City of Literature, lending inspiration to a wayfinding and identity kiosk design that unites residents and visitors of all nationalities. The centerpiece of the wayfinding kiosk is the recurring “screen” of metal text in various languages. Construction was completed in the Fall of 2016.