City of Grand Forks / University of North Dakota

Grand Forks,

Campus Edge Visioning And Market Analysis

In 2015 the City of Grand Forks engaged Brailsford & Dunlavey to assist in further developing a strategic vision for a potential vibrancy district, a vision created in partnership with the University of North Dakota. The goals and priorities of the city, the mission of the university, and the desire to improve the student experience informed the initiative and created a vision grounded in mutual interests to create a community asset unique to Grand Forks. Our approach included its proprietary Strategic Asset Value visioning sessions, held with city representatives, university administration officials, and student leaders. Their combined vision produced the strategic framework for implementing the district plan. Further input was gathered through focus groups with the student leadership and interviews with local community members, business leaders, and university stakeholders. Data gathered from these analyses included:

• Programmatic priorities of the district (What should be in it?)
• Priority order of target market segments (Who should it serve?)
• Thematic concepts (What should it look and feel like?)
• Financial performance expectations and options (How will it happen?)

Preliminary recommendations were to develop the vibrancy district in downtown Grand Forks, enhance the 42nd Street corridor to complement the new district, and prepare a comprehensive transportation plan to link the University, downtown, and the 42nd Street area. We were subsequently re-hired to perform a community-wide market analysis.


UND and city officials are once again looking at creating vibrancy districts for students to engage more with the community, and this time they say it’s going to be different.