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CITY SIGNS: Making Metro Cities Stand Out

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Pleasant Hill (WHO-HD)

Recently, Johnston’s city council began discussions about how to make the city’s gateway more attractive. Other metro cities are also working hard to get others to take notice.

Two years ago, Pleasant Hill put up a sign by the Copper Creek Lake area. The idea is to draw attention to the 40 acre lake, bike path, and the newly opened concession stand building.

The council hired an engineering firm to design the sign. The curves in the sign represent the hills of the city. It cost just over $200,000 and the city manager says it’s worth the investment.

Don Sandor says, “We want people to know they’ve left Des Moines and they’ve entered another city, and we’re our own independent city. And we’ve got some good features here and it’s a great community, and we want people to know they’re here.”

The city of Clive wanted to get across the same message but used a little different strategy.

“A lot of people are passing through the city of Clive, and we want people to know where they’re at,” says Clive mayor Scott Cirksena.

Clive leaders are building its brand into a streetscape along 86th Street. It is part of a $2 million street improvement project. The street scape plan will also stretch west of 86th.

cliveClive’s borders have an unusual shape, with it going 13 miles long east to west and a mile wide north to south.

Cirksena says the new look is all about standing out.

“When they come to Clive we want them to have a sense of place.  We’ve spent the better part of a year doing a re-branding of our city. With our logo and tag line. Which was a great process. Now we’re starting to incorporate that into a whole new signage program,” says Cirksena.

Crews will soon add new gateway signs on both ends of 114th Street. That stretch of road goes by Clive City Hall and its aquatic center.