Planning & Public Affairs

The School of Planning and Public Affairs is committed to admitting a diverse student body and supporting a learning environment in which many values and perspectives contribute to the richness of the educational experience, to the fields of planning, public policy, and public administration, and to the communities in which we we live and work.


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Opioid Crisis in Clinton

As part of their capstone project, graduate students in Planning and Public Affairs analyzed the current opioid crisis in the greater Clinton area and made policy recommendations to address the issue. Clinton County averages 1,933 opioid prescriptions per 10,000 people, as compared to the Iowa average of 1,587 prescriptions per 10,000 people. Due to several factors, the opioid epidemic is hitting Clinton particularly hard, and the city must develop strategies for combatting this deadly crisis.

URP Open House

Updating the 2006 Mason City Comprehensive Plan

As part of their capstone project, second-year graduate students from the University of Iowa’s School of Urban & Regional Planning will update Mason City’s 2006 Comprehensive Plan, with a thematic view towards environmental and social resiliency and a topical focus on aging in place.


Clinton - Youth Substance Abuse Prevention

Graduate students in Public Affairs will work with city officials to gain a better understanding of the drug misuse trends among youth in Clinton, Iowa. They will assist in the development of outreach and education initiatives and programs to better inform the public of the specific substance misuse issues, get the community involved with prevention initiatives, and help community members support those around them who may be struggling with substance issues.

a group of rental bicycles

Clinton - Greening Downtown through Cycling

Students in a course in the School of Planning and Public Affairs developed recommendations to "green" downtown Clinton by improving opportunities for cycling.

overhead photo of city streets with red arrows

Clinton - Activating Downtown Alleyways

Students in a course in the School of Planning and Public Affairs developed recommendations for revitalizing Clinton's alleyways with improved pavers, public art, and other modifications.

Downtown alleyways often serve important functions, such as waste management or service entrances for businesses. However, communities are increasingly recognizing alleyways as opportunities to create unique public spaces while also improving water runoff.

an older large White House

Clinton Housing and Homelessness Policy Recommendations

Students in a course in the School of Planning and Public Affairs developed recommendations to help address homelessness in Clinton. 

High school students in a gymnasium at a celebration

Clinton Youth Civic Engagement

Students in a course in the School of Planning and Public Affairs examined ways to reignite Clinton's Mayor's Youth Commission. They made recommendations about this entity, as well as other ways to better engage teens in the civic fabric of the community.

DART Outreach poster Clinton

Clinton - Addressing the Opioid Epidemic

As part of their graduate capstone project, Masters of Public Affairs students will work with the Clinton Substance Abuse Council, the Clinton Police Department, and other service providers to identify local, proactive strategies for addressing opioid addiction and abuse in the community.


Master Plan for Clinton’s Liberty Square District

The City of Clinton seeks to revisit planning and strategies for use and development of the Liberty Square District, a section of mostly undeveloped land that runs between and adjacent to the split four lanes of Highway 30. 


Clinton Housing Needs Assessment / Housing Policy and Strategy

The City of Clinton seeks to update its Housing Needs Assessment, which was last completed in 2016.  A Housing Needs Assessment is a tool to help decision-makers ensure that existing and future residents can find safe, secure, and quality housing that meets their needs and budgets.  The assessment evaluates both housing needs and housing availability, typically determining the number and types of new units needed to accommodate needs, as well as other factors like vacancy, housing quality, rental needs, and more.  Housing Needs Assessments are useful to housing


Iowa City Solar Study

Students in the School of Planning and Public Affairs course Environmental Policy researched technical and policy solutions to advance more solar energy generation in Iowa City, with a focus on resilience, economic benefits, and equitable access.  UI faculty members Scott Spak, Adam Skibbe, and Travis Kraus worked with local stakeholders to complete the study. 

MCC site visit

Muscatine Community College Sustainability and Environmental Responsibility (SER) Initiative

Second-year Master of Public Affairs (MPA) students collaborated with administrators and students at Muscatine Community College in the development of policies and best practices for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and implementing a Sustainability and Environmental Responsibility (SER) Initiative.