Imagine Dubuque In Action

As you read this, Dubuque residents and community organizations are coming together to help make Imagine Dubuque, our city's comprehensive plan, a reality.


Over 50 individuals from the City and local organizations have stepped up to coordinate implementation of the plan. These leaders provide project updates to track progress and success in achieving the 110 recommendations outlined in the plan.





Recommendation Tracker

Comprehensive Plan Status: 110 recommendations

Total Progress

• At Risk  • Off Track  On Track  • Achieved


Click the tabs below to learn about plan goals and specific recommendations.

Go to: Economic Prosperity


Continue to diversify Dubuque’s economy 
Develop a ‘hyper-local’ approach to diverse talent attraction/development
Strengthen start-up businesses and entrepreneurial programming
Continue work of Inclusive Dubuque / enhance economic resilience


Identify markets and sites for new homes 
Foster development of new and additional housing products
Continue work of Inclusive Dubuque to enhance economic resiliency 


Enhance broadband service to align with business/employment growth
Strengthen Dubuque as a regional retail destination

Go to: Sustainable Environment


Complete and monitor Bee Branch Watershed Flood Mitigation
Implement the Catfish Creek Watershed Management Plan


Implement 50% by 2030 Climate Action + Resiliency Plan
Support mobile air quality monitoring, increase citizen awareness


Continue Healthy Homes as part of CHANGE and Bee Branch Revitalization
Implement an Emerald Ash Borer Readiness Plan
Increase native plant, pollinator, and edible landscaping
Conserve natural areas


Promote children’s environmental education
Improve backyard and curbside composting
Explore a community-wide Zero Waste Policy


Go to: Social + Cultural Vibrancy


 Increase institutional use of local foods 
 Support food production spaces, Community-Supported Agriculture
 Network with other “food cities”
 Integrate healthy food and education in recreational programming 
 Consider food access as an element of City transit systems
 Harvest local solid waste for compost
 Support front yard food gardening


 Implement the Community Solutions Action Plan 
 Support community learning on equity and inclusion
 Expand childcare options and resources


 Bring events to all neighborhoods
 Evaluate transit to ensure access to arts and culture facilities
 Co-market community events
Partner to encourage new forms of culture and art


 Promote preservation, adaptive reuse of buildings and materials
 Communicate benefits of historic preservation
 Utilize emerging funding sources to support rehabilitation
 Expand programs to train preservation-related building trades


 Improve trash collection in downtown
 Enhance sidewalk connectivity
 Ensure safe lighting of active pedestrian zones
 Support community policing efforts on diversity/understanding
 Police / organizational training on mental health and public safety
 Support safe neighborhoods through community partnerships


 Promote partnerships and policies that support mental health 
 Evaluate community-based options to support mental health
 Work with health providers to promote healthy choices
 Promote in-school healthy foods


 Update the Parks and Recreation Plan
 Community Health + Wellness/Recreation Center
 Make Dubuque more dog-friendly



Go to: Livable Neighborhoods + Housing


Review codes/incentives to promote fair, quality, affordable housing
Recognize the importance of historic preservation and adaptive reuse
Illustrate and communicate benefits of historic preservation / partners
Identify and collaborate with new partners to strengthen neighborhoods
Promote appropriate mixed-use development


Support the Green and Healthy Homes Initiative and inspections
Monitor affordability and housing stress
Increase wages and self-sufficiency opportunities
Outreach/Education to increase participation in Housing Choice Vouchers
    Incentives/Policies to create more Housing Choice Voucher units


Go to: Community Facilities


Expand sanitary sewer system to meet needs
Address water system needs / address future growth
Integrate Vernon Township and Barrington Lakes water systems
Update the city-wide stormwater management ordinance
Expand fiber optic network access


Ensure resources for City Departments as population grows
Explore 911 Communication Center needs
Evaluate cost/benefits/needs for police substation
Explore need for/relocation of a southwest fire station


Explore potential for a West End library branch
Implement the Chaplain Schmitt Island Master Plan
Repurpose the Five Flags Civic Center

Go to: Transportation + Mobility


Identify opportunities to enhance pedestrian network in JFK corridor
Apply Complete Streets principles throughout Dubuque
Work from the City’s comprehensive network plan for Complete Streets
Orient new development to the street / acquire r.o.w


Enhance fixed-route service on high-performing transit corridors
Enhance bus efficiency and effectiveness / connect residents to resources


Expand passenger air and rail service
Target new development near the airport; restrict residential


Partner with DOTs to promote safe, efficient regional roadway connections
Expand passenger rail service / 4-lane highway to Chicago


Implement DMAT 2045 Long Range Transportation Plan
 Leverage technology to improve vehicular mobility and safety

Go to: Land Use


Promote access to education, recreation, and services in all neighborhoods
Link neighborhoods via trails and open space
Integrate development into the environment


Encourage a mix of housing options for all
Encourage multi-family development near jobs
Encourage multi-family development in mixed-use areas


Create places to live, work, and play within close proximity of neighborhoods
Adjust zoning regulations to promote mixed-use development
Work with property owners/developers to encourage walkable mixed use
Integrate mix of housing types in mixed use neighborhoods


Ensure equitable access to services / essential facilities 
Explore a new school site to serve future development along Southwest Arterial
Integrate new institutional / non-profit uses near the residents they serve


Provide retail and employment that is responsive to market demands
Explore opportunities for limited commercial in neighborhoods
Concentrate commercial uses downtown and along major corridors


Attract large employment centers with access to infrastructure
Allow for new or expanded industrial parks
Explore industrial development near airport 


Preserve environment / provide recreational opportunities for all
Coordinate with school districts to share facilities with neighborhoods
Link all development with open space and trails
Explore additional riverfront recreational opportunities
Explore potential for a mountain biking facility

actions underway

The projects highlighted below are just some  of the initiatives that are helping us achieve the vision of Imagine Dubuque. While the ebb and flow of these initiatives may change due to the impacts of Covid, one thing is for certain, brighter tomorrows are ahead.

#AllOfUsDubuque: Highlighting Dubuquers Making a Difference

Plan Category: Social + Cultural Vibrancy
Sub-Category: Education + Empowerment
Recommendation: Support and further community learning about best practices in equity and inclusion.

“The only way to conquer the coronavirus and save lives is for All of Us to work together as one community. Regardless of where we were born, we are standing shoulder to shoulder, and all of our contributions to society are more indispensable than ever."  

Dubuque Community Gardens

Plan Category: Social + Cultural Vibrancy
Sub-Category: Food
Recommendation: Consider an active policy supporting front yard food gardening.

“Working in the garden put my life into perspective - the more we treat the Earth with kindness, the more the Earth will give us. I feel grateful for the experience.” - Grace Jackson

$1 Million Grant Helps Dubuque Develop Next-Gen Traffic Control System

Plan Category: Transportation + Mobility
Sub-Category: Auto Travel
Recommendation: Continue being a national leader in leveraging technology and other Intelligent Transportation System solutions to improve vehicular mobility and safety on the Dubuque street network.

“The City of Dubuque is excited to pursue this project with our partners, ECIA and the Iowa DOT, to develop new traffic management technologies and practices that can become best practices for other communities.” - Roy Buol, Dubuque Mayor

Project Rooted

Plan Category: Social + Cultural Vibrancy
Sub-Category: Health
Recommendation: Promote in-school healthy food actions including school gardens, wellness, and exercise.

"We can help shape the future of this community by the simple act of connecting kids to real food from the ground up." - Whitney Sanger | Co-Founder, Project Rooted

Pets in Parks Ordinance

Plan Category: Social + Cultural Vibrancy
Sub-Category: Recreation
Recommendation: Identify opportunities to enhance Dubuque’s “dog-friendliness.”

"Being able to walk your dog on a leash through a city park is a quality of life issue." - 'Pets in Parks Ordinance' survey comment

Dupaco Invests in Millwork District

Plan Category: Economic Prosperity
Sub-Category: Employment
Recommendation: Continue ongoing efforts to diversify Dubuque’s economy, including all sectors, employment types, and categories.

“This facility will allow us to continue to add staff to support our members and allow us future growth potential, as well as aligning with community initiatives and space to potentially lease back to tenants and community entities to provide an enhanced benefits to the Millwork area."  - Joe Hearn, Dupaco President

be our eyes and ears

With so many great things happening throughout our city and region, we need your help to keep us in the loop on actions underway. Click the button below to share information, photos, and press about projects that are helping achieve the vision of Imagine Dubuque.