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College Outreach Programs

PLaCE Program

The PLaCE (Partnering Learning and Community Engagement) program aims to enhance and promote the quality and character of Iowa’s landscapes and communities. The College of Design engages with communities in collaborative efforts to understand, envision and promote a fundamental enhancement of their physical environment.

ISU Extension Community and Economic Development and the College of Design’s Institute for Design Research and Outreach (IDRO) invite Iowa communities and nonprofit organizations to submit applications for project ideas that might provide quality learning experiences for our students and faculty. A reasonable fee — usually between $1,000 and $5,000 — will be charged to cover costs.

PLaCE projects

Past PLACE projects have included city and county comprehensive plans, concept plans for city parks and GIS-based planning and modeling. A new opportunity involves historic preservation survey and documentation projects. Products that communities receive vary from project to project, but typically include written reports, conceptual drawings, and/or GIS data. Please note that detailed construction plans are not a part of this program.


Annual application deadlines are Nov. 1 for projects to be completed during the following spring and summer semesters, and April 1 for projects to be completed during the fall.


PLaCE brochure and application form (PDF)
PLaCE application form only (PDF)


Julie Robison
Special Projects Coordinator, Institute for Design Research and Outreach (IDRO)
Iowa State University
126 Design
Ames, IA 50011-3091