Astig Planning Receives 2021 APA Iowa Chapter Environmental Planning Award

Astig Planning staff members, Asmita Poudel and Hekkie Jamili, accept the APA award at the annual APA Iowa Chapter conference.

On behalf of the Iowa Flood Center (IFC) and the Iowa Watershed Approach (IWA) partners, we are happy to announce that Astig Planning LLC was awarded the APA Iowa Chapter Environmental Planning award for two Iowa Watershed Approach Flood Resilience outcomes.

The Iowa Watershed Approach partnered with Astig Planning, City of Coralville, and local nonprofits to execute a social-equity and community-led planning process to create the Flood Resilience Action Plan (FRAP) in Coralville. The scope of this plan used a social vulnerability analysis that overlaid flood-impacted areas in Coralville with structurally and historically marginalized community members in order to understand the ways in which vulnerable community members are being resilient and barriers they may be facing.

V Fixmer-Oraiz, Founder of Astig Planning demonstrates a watershed model at a community event.

This planning process began in October 2019, with an anticipation of completing outreach and engagement activities through the summer of 2020. In March 2020, the COVID-19 virus reached community spread in Johnson County, and the Astig planning team was able to quickly pivot their community engagement plan. This team donated PPE gear and volunteered at the local food pantry to talk with people picking up groceries, collaborated with the library to trade translation services for survey distribution assistance, and held online community workshops that resulted in asset-based maps centered on the community’s definition of resilience. From this work, Astig Planning not only executed the FRAP for Coralville, but also created a guidebook for planners that outlines barriers that planners may face while conducting FRAPs and how to address these challenges. This guide aims to help planners build strategies that are innovative, flexible, and engaging to build community resilience during challenging times. After reading this guidebook, planners will have a set of initial tools and, most important, an understanding of the conceptual approach necessary to build community resilience to floods in rural and urban communities.

To view the FRAP in Coralville and the Guidebook for Planners, view the Astig Planning Website.

For more information about the Iowa Watershed Approach (IWA) Flood Resilience Program, view the IWA website