Enriching Iowa communities
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Editor's Note:The University of Iowa is the university for Iowa. Over the next few weeks we'll be illustrating the many ways that UI serves our state and shapes Iowa's future.
This past year, UI's Iowa Initiative for Sustainable Communities partnered with the city of Muscatine, a community of 23,000 located on the Mississippi River in eastern Iowa. In its process of completing a comprehensive plan, Muscatine's Community Improvement Action Team worked alongside the IISC to develop projects that implemented goals and objectives of the master plan.
This video feature provides a glimpse at IISC's work in Muscatine, which included an effort to improve the historic downtown riverfront area—an important location in the past and future of this storied Iowa community.
UI students surveyed best practices of similar communities’ riverfront redevelopment efforts and solicited community input to identify the best uses for the land, ultimately producing a plan for the riverfront. The four alternatives presented were to create a riverfront maintaining baseline conditions, working ecosystems, arts and industry, and fitness. An overview of the project and the final report from the team can be viewed here.
The riverfront development project is one of many the IISC collaborated with Muscatine on in the 2013-14 academic year.
The Iowa Initiative for Sustainable Communities (IISC) is a campus-wide effort at the UI to enhance the capacity of Iowa's communities to be more sustainable. Partnering with Iowa's urban and rural communities, the IISC identifies projects that address the economic, environmental, and socio-cultural issues they face to build a more sustainable community.
The IISC provides significant outreach to Iowa's communities, while transforming teaching and learning at the UI. The program was founded in 2009 in the UI School of Urban and Regional Planning by Professor Chuck Connerly. Since 2009, the IISC has worked with small and medium-sized communities in Iowa to advance sustainability across the state.
In 2014-15, the IISC will partner with three more communities across Iowa:Decorah/Winnishiek County, Iowa City, and Sioux City.