Festival re-imagines Cedar Rapids' Mound View neighborhood

Tactical urbanism on display at northeast Cedar Rapids event

Signs list the time by walking and biking to various locations during Imagine Mound View in the Mound View neighborhood of Cedar Rapids on Saturday, Sep. 9, 2017. (Stephen Mally/The Gazette)
Signs list the time by walking and biking to various locations during Imagine Mound View in the Mound View neighborhood of Cedar Rapids on Saturday, Sep. 9, 2017. (Stephen Mally/The Gazette)

CEDAR RAPIDS — An event Saturday in the northeast quadrant of Cedar Rapids was half block party and part urban visioning process for the area between Coe College and Mount Mercy University.

Known as the Mound View area, the Imagine Mound View festival took place from noon to 4 p.m. near the intersection of F Avenue and 17th Street NE.

The goal was to spur residents, developers and city officials to re-imagine the Mound View neighborhood and to reinvest, according to Ben Kaplan of Corridor Urbanism, an organization that advocates for urban living.

The festival was part of the tactical urbanism movement that entails making small changes to an urban area to make the space more accommodating and appealing.

The festival featured food trucks, an interactive art project and a wish list where residents could write their wishes for the area.

In addition, the Metropolitan Planning Organization demonstrated what a protected bike lane would look like in the area. Volunteers helped build planter boxes out of wooden pallets and the planters lined the outside of the bike lane.

“Mound View is one of Cedar Rapids’ oldest neighborhoods. It’s got a bunch of gorgeous houses from the turn of the century,” Kaplan said before the event. “It’s got a ton of retail shops that are underused.”

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