HKGi

HOISINGTON KOEGLER GROUP INC.

Comprehensive Plan

Ironwood, MI

2015 DANIEL BURNHAM AWARD FOR A COMPREHENSIVE PLAN
American Planning Association, Michigan Chapter

Although the mining and timber industries that once drove Ironwood’s economy have declined in recent decades, the city still enjoys great economic development potential, particularly as a four season recreation destination that attracts outdoors enthusiasts of all types. In addition to capitalizing on the city’s position as the gateway to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, the plan also contains “economic gardening” strategies that will help Ironwood build greater economic capacity from within the community.

This innovative plan was driven by a community engagement process that generated broad community support. HKGi planners conducted a three-day residency in which they spoke with various local leaders, high school students, and residents. They inspired community members to become engaged in the planning process by conducting a community photo contest, asking residents to send Postcards from the Future as a visioning activity, and inviting citizens to submit Spark Plans to help jump start plan implementation efforts.

The plan’s focus on implementation is also evident by the fact that less than a year after approval the City has already taken action on eighteen immediate action items and seven short term strategies and had secured over $1.5 million in community improvement grants.