While still years away from completion, Downtown Davenport's Master Plan is garnering national attention for it's innovation and ambition.

In the last couple decades, large cities across America have focused their attention on revitalizing their downtowns.  With urban sprawl creating long traffic filled commutes that gobble up more farm land, they have focused on taking the crumbling infrastructure of a downtown and developing it to what a modern close living environment can look like. Now, smaller cities across the country are looking at how they can make sure downtown can be a place that people can live, and those not living in downtown, can spend the evening for some safe fun.

The plan is called "Davenport 2030" and focuses on five pillars.  Playful to enhance the infrastructure and create a more resilient riverfront.  Livable to make downtown attractive for residents and families.  Innovative to create an ecosystem that can attract jobs.  Inclusive to be diverse through design of small business and house.  And celebrated to be an unforgettable destination.

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While the city has been working on downtown, American City & County notes the issues that have arose in the last two years.

By 2019, the city’s resurgence was well underway with $600 million of new investments. Then disaster struck, as devastating Mississippi flood waters engulfed a portion of downtown, a setback shortly thereafter by the onset of COVID-19.

Even with a once in a lifetime flood and pandemic, American City & County says that Davenport is not only on the right track here, but is what other small downtowns need to do in order to survive.

As we look towards post-pandemic recovery, cities like Davenport and regions like the Quad Cities offer a glimpse into how cities can reframe the future of American cities around local and regional growth.

In the next decade will Downtown Davenport become the model to rebirth for other small cities downtowns across the nation?  Or will families continue to expand into Le Claire, Eldridge and beyond. You can read the full Downtown Davenport master plan here.

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