Downtown Minot partnership with NDSU is win for all
Architectural students from North Dakota State University were in Minot this past week to learn about the community’s downtown vision prior to their development of an urban design plan to be unveiled May 3. Who better to design the future than the young people who will be the generation of the future?
The project is a win-win for both Minot and the NDSU students. While students get hands-on learning, Minot benefits from fresh, creative eyes looking at the downtown and re-imagining how it could look. No doubt it will provide some direction to downtown organizations and businesses as they look to the future. Students will be conceptualizing downtown Minot with detailed artist renderings. They will be examining building facades, creating ideas that businesses might want to implement, particularly with the availability of funding through a city facade improvement program. Students will be envisioning potential uses for vacant lots and designing possible park spaces, including developing a plan for green space along the flood protection project downtown.
In bringing students to Minot – and previously to Medora for another architectural design project – NDSU is fulfilling its mission as a land-grant university to serve the entire state. By reaching into western North Dakota, NDSU demonstrates that the invisible east-west line often seen as dividing the state is not impenetrable.
In fulfilling its mission, Minot Area Chamber EDC hosted community meetings with the architecture students to advance the project initiated by its board chairman Kevin Black. MACEDC says the project aligns with its mission to advocate for and invest in business activity by being a collaborative partner in the community.
The project also fits the mission of Gov. Doug Burgum’s Main Street Initiative, as was stressed when the NDSU project was announced this past week. The Main Street Initiative is about creating vibrant cities by giving communities tools to capitalize on their strengths. The design plan developed by the NDSU students could be one of those tools for Minot.
Downtown Minot eventually might want to follow the lead of Medora, which is moving forward with some of the designs presented last year. For now, what we do know is the Minot community is eagerly awaiting the architectural students’ final product.