About

About

T

he Iowa Initiative for Sustainable Communities (IISC) is a campus-wide community engaged learning organization located in the Provost's Office of Outreach & Engagement at the University of Iowa. We partner faculty, staff, and students with urban and rural communities to complete projects that enhance the sustainability of Iowa's communities, while transforming teaching and learning at the university. Community needs are matched with the expertise and resources of university faculty, staff, and students through courses, independent studies and research projects.

Through developing projects that address community priorities while engaging faculty and students in high-impact, real-world projects, the IISC draws stronger connections between the university and the state, advancing the university's strong commitment to building mutually beneficial partnerships. These projects and partnerships enable the IISC to address Iowa's economic, environmental and socio-cultural challenges in ways that build a more sustainable future for the state, and more successful futures for our students. 

Mission

The IISC pursues a dual mission of enhancing sustainability in Iowa while transforming teaching and learning at the University of Iowa.

The partnerships between students, faculty, and community members that we facilitate draw stronger connections between the University of Iowa and the state, advancing the university' s strong commitment to mutually beneficial engagement with Iowa communities.

Through developing projects that address community priorities while engaging students in high-impact experiences, the IISC addresses Iowa's economic, environmental, and socio-cultural challenges in ways that build a more sustainable future for the state, and more successful, community-engaged futures for our students.

Defining Sustainability

Sustainability
Sustainable communities are those in which current generations are able to meet their social, economic, and environmental needs without compromising the ability of future generations to do so as well. Sustainability spans topics that range from social justice to workforce development to ecological health and resiliency.

The IISC approaches the holistic nature of sustainability by drawing on many disciplines across campus, including but not limited to urban and regional planning, public health, engineering, business, geoscience, art and art history, journalism and mass communications, and geographical and sustainability sciences. Students, faculty, and staff in these diverse fields bridge disciplinary boundaries to develop innovative approaches to complex challenges.

History

The IISC was founded in 2009 in the School of Urban & Regional Planning by Dr. Chuck Connerly. Since 2009, the 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, the IISC expanded to become a campus-wide initiative. To continue growing campus-wide partnerships, the IISC joined the Provost's Office of Outreach & Engagement in fall 2014.