Based in Des Moines, Iowa, Urban Dreams works to remove barriers to the success of its community members and help them achieve their goals. With a wide variety of social and community services, and a wealth of experience listening deeply to its community, Urban Dreams is able to provide assistance that is reflective of, and responsive to, community members’ needs.

Using exactly this approach, Urban Dreams redesigned a vacant lot adjacent to their offices. Design elements for the space — not to mention the initial idea for a pocket park — were developed directly from a community asset mapping project done in collaboration with Iowa State University, and include features such as a performance stage, phone charging stations, Percussion Play instruments, a community garden, a little free food pantry, and a small memorial area with fruit trees and other plantings. Through the design process, these elements continued to be added and refined as Urban Dreams responded to the needs of their constituents. Nature Sacred provided Design Advisory Services for this project, working with Urban Dreams to engage the community in visioning how Nature Sacred’s 4 design elements could be creatively interpreted in this space. 

 

Design Team: 

Jack Sullivan, Nature Sacred Design Advisor, University of Maryland, working as a consultant to Whitfield’s Lawn and Garden Specialists. 

Randy Whitfield and Catum Whitfield, Whitfield’s Lawn and Garden Specialists