How Clive Uses Resident Voice To Plan for New Development

-By Julia Steege-Reimann-

Clive, Iowa’s commitment to continuous improvement contributes to their award-winning built environment.

Clive, Iowa residents appreciate the way the City has developed. “But the key for any community is to continue to strive to be better, no matter how happy your residents are,” said Pete De Kock, Assistant City Manager for Clive, Iowa.

This commitment to continuous improvement contributes to the City’s leadership in maintaining beautiful public spaces, planning thoughtfully for new development, and providing high quality services.

And, Clive’s leaders rely on data to guide their work.

“By performing a resident satisfaction survey every other year for the past number of years, Clive has been able to identify trend lines where citizen satisfaction may be increasing or decreasing,” said De Kock.

“Clive is the epitome of a community that uses resident feedback to shape the work,” said Damema Mann, Direction of National Engagement for Polco/ National Research Center.

The City of Clive regularly conducts The National Community Survey (The NCS) to gather feedback from community members. Clive’s residents are satisfied with the City’s built environment. Satisfied enough, in fact, to rate all aspects of the City’s built environment higher than the national benchmark, with the exception of cable television.

Clive’s leadership has been recognized with a 2019 Voice of the People Award for Excellence in Built Environment. This is the only national award that honors local governments based on feedback from residents. The award is presented by Polco / National Research Center (NRC) and the International City & County Management Association (ICMA). This award acknowledges local governments that have the highest ratings on The NCS and that take the best actions on behalf of their communities.

High Standards for Development

Clive has strict standards for development. Clive’s residents show they support these standards through positively rating the City’s land use/zoning and code enforcement on The NCS.

City staff educate developers on expectations, which include thoughtful street design, native vegetation, attractive landscaping, subtle signage, and thoughtful material usage among others. These requirements are legally binding and carry forward to future owners of the property.

Infrastructure Maintenance

In addition to supporting smart development, the City is a leader in maintaining current infrastructure.

Clive exclusively uses gravity sanitary sewers, which limits the stress on the City’s sewer system. In addition, City staff test every water control value each year. Last, in response to feedback from The NCS, Clive recently increased resources for road rehabilitation by $1 million per year.  

Thoughtful Planning

Clive’s leaders develop thoughtful plans to enhance its built environment into the future.

For example, over the past several years the City spent 18 months developing a master plan for the Clive Greenbelt, an urban recreational trail. The master plan addresses park amenities, trail connections, business development opportunities, natural resources, and erosion issues.

Clive also recently developed city roadway design specifications, cutting-edge stormwater management criteria, a long-term plan to stabilize eroded banks, as well as updates to the plans for the sanitary sewer and drinking water systems.

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