In response to President Sally Mason’s 2008 Earth Day pledge to commit the University of Iowa to a sustainable future, the School of Urban and Regional Planning founded the Iowa Initiative for Sustainable Communities (IISC) in 2009. During this current school year, we are celebrating the 10th year of IISC projects.
IISC has worked with small and medium-sized communities in Iowa to advance sustainability across the state. In fall 2012, due to the success of these projects and the recognition that sustainability in Iowa spans a variety of disciplines, IISC expanded to become a campus-wide initiative.
Over the past ten years, master’s students in Urban and Regional Planning have completed numerous year-long projects in almost every corner of Iowa. The Iowa communities which have benefited from their services during this time include Anamosa, Columbus Junction, Decorah, Wellman, Burlington, Charles City, Oskaloosa, Dubuque, Muscatine, Cedar Rapids, Sioux City, Winneshiek County, Iowa City, Mason City, Delmar, English River Water Management Authority, Jackson County, Linn County, Webster City, and Clinton. Initiatives have ranged from a brownfields toolkit to redevelopment plans to impacts of automated vehicles on the built environment and community.
The success of IISC across campus has been due not only the support of the Office of Outreach and Engagement but also to the hard work and leadership of our two alums in the IISC office, Nick Benson, Executive Director of IISC and Travis Kraus, Director of Economic Development and Sustainability.