Students in the IQC and Regional and City Planning studio have been working in downtown Shawnee to create a new downtown plan. The group of 13 students are working under the leadership of Associate Dean Charles Warnken, IQC Director Blair Humphreys, Associate Director Hope Mander, and Professor Ron Frantz.

A steering committee consisting of 10 community leaders in Shawnee includes property owners, business owners, residents, and local officials from the city, school, and tribal governments. The committee was assembled by the Shawnee Chamber of Commerce.

The first task for our students was to create an inventory of the buildings, businesses, and streetscapes in the downtown study area they defined. The data will be translated into a geographic information system for analysis.

Additionally, the students have met with the steering committee and recently held a public meeting in Shawnee. About 85 Shawnee citizens attended the meeting, which the students referred to as a “party” because of its unconventional, hands-on approach. The students led participants in six interactive activities designed to constructively learn about the community’s vision for the downtown area. The students also created a fun mini-documentary of the meeting:

More work is ongoing to gather public and stakeholder input as the students continue to work on the plan. The students have set up a Facebook page, Reimagine Downtown, to keep Shawnee residents and leaders informed on their process.