Community Development Innovation Council’s Role in Place-Based Economic and Community Development

Posted March 8, 2024
green Neighborhoods in greater Iowa City area

Johnson County has led the State of Iowa in vibrant community and economic development. Now, Greater Iowa City, Inc. will take this a step further with the launch of our Community Development Innovation Council (CDIC) in April. Greater IC’s CDIC is a driving force in fostering place-based economic and community growth.


Starting in 2024 and going forward, the CDIC will tackle:
1. Partnerships for Progress: Facilitating collaboration among public entities, private businesses, and community organizations, the council leverages collective strengths to address local challenges and spur economic growth.
2. Neighborhood Identification and Strategic Investment Opportunities: The CDIC will help identify three initial areas in our larger cities that can be an example of what strategic public-private partnerships and targeted investment in creating livable and walkable communities can do for residents and businesses.
3. Fostering and Improving Inclusivity: Showcasing Johnson County’s diverse assets and fostering inclusivity, the council attracts investment and talent, bolstering the county’s economic vibrancy.
4. Learning from Local Initiatives: Drawing inspiration from successful local projects and public-private partnerships that have built trust, garnered local, state, and federal support, the council identifies and learns from best practices to drive positive change countywide.
5. Engaging the Community: Through inclusive forums, workshops, and outreach efforts, the council empowers residents, businesses, and stakeholders to contribute to local development efforts. By amplifying community voices, the council ensures that development initiatives align with the needs and aspirations of Johnson County’s diverse population.
6. Advocating for Resilience: The council champions policies and initiatives that prioritize equitable growth and supports underestimated businesses. By advocating for programs of Better Together 2030 partnerships and the Inclusive Economic Development Plan, the council fosters economic resilience and empowers all members of the community to thrive.
7. Inclusive Problem-Solving: Ensuring diverse representation within decision-making processes and advocating for this throughout our County, the Council invites perspectives from all segments of the community. The council fosters a more inclusive economy that benefits everyone in Johnson County.
8. Guiding Innovation: Through collaboration and innovation, the council drives initiatives that leverage Johnson County’s unique strengths and assets. By facilitating partnerships between public and private sectors and guiding strategic investments, the council fuels economic growth and enhances the quality of life for all residents.


The CDIC influences and guides the larger strategic opportunities for Greater IC, serving as a catalyst for positive change. By fostering partnerships, amplifying community voices, and championing place-based economic development, the council is building a brighter future for Johnson County—one innovative initiative at a time. Interested in influencing and guiding our Community Development Strategy? Join our efforts or inquire about joining the CDIC by contacting Cady Gerlach at