In late August, the city of Urbandale plans to take an introspective look at itself as a way of getting a handle on its future development.


The project was triggered by Eric Burmeister, executive director of the Polk County Housing Trust Fund, who asked city officials whether they would be interested in teaming up the housing agency, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and private researchers to do an assessment of current housing stock, discuss plans for commercial development and determine how it could accommodate a workforce that supports that development.


City Manager A.J. Johnson said the City Council eagerly replied "yes."


On Aug. 27 and 28, the EPA's Office of Sustainable communities, along with Washington, D.C.-area consultants Hannah Twaddell from ICF International and Katie Rooney from Renaissance Planning Group, will meet with city officials and staff, business leaders and residents to assess its housing stock and anticipate future housing needs.


"We're the guinea pig, in a good way," Johnson said.


Continue reading to learn why Urbandale is taking a long term look at how it will provide a diverse range of housing in the future. Full Insider story >>>

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