Friday, September 15, 2023
When the University of Iowa’s Initiative for Sustainable Communities (IISC) visited Dubuque in early September, the day was filled with surprises. “Dubuque is an inspiring place,” says IISC director Travis Kraus. “I know we’ll be able to help the city move some of its goals forward while also learning from their innovative team.”
Wednesday, September 13, 2023
During the 2020-2021 academic year, the University of Iowa’s Initiative for Sustainable Communities (IISC) partnered with Manchester to complete 16 projects. One of these was a project undertaken by four Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE) students for improvement to Shelly Park, which sits directly on the Maquoketa River. This summer, their plans were realized when the newly renovated park was officially opened.
Thursday, September 7, 2023
“Unlike many Iowa communities that need to focus on smaller populations and what planners allude to as ‘shrinking smartly,’ Bondurant is in a unique situation of rapid growth,” says Travis Kraus, IISC’s director. The needs that come with this growth provide interesting challenges and learning opportunities for UI students who will work with Bondurant during the 2023-24 academic year. They will complete 15 projects and bring a wide array of academic skills to the city, including archival research, art, engineering, and planning.
Tuesday, September 5, 2023
I have completed more than 40 public murals around the country, though the majority are in Iowa. I’ve experienced “Iowa Nice” to be a real thing. In Clinton, the mayor drove me around and gave me a tour of the city after finishing a project there. While painting, people stop to chat and bring you cold drinks and snacks. In Webster City, the mayor had a dinner party for me, and personally installed the panels with a lift. If I’m painting in a big city, these things don’t happen—you just show up and do your job.
Monday, June 26, 2023
The Iowa Initiative for Sustainable Communities is excited to announce that our students and faculty will be working in Bondurant and Dubuque during the 2023-24 academic year. We are grateful for the many strong applications submitted last spring. The selected communities provide unique opportunities for University of Iowa students to apply their learning through hands-on projects that will benefit the state of Iowa.
Monday, May 8, 2023
On Thursday, May 4, the Iowa Initiative for Sustainable Communities (IISC) capped off its year-long partnership with the community of Clinton, Iowa. Seven student groups made presentations, followed by a ceremony that included awards, remarks, and a documentary film screening.
Monday, May 8, 2023
As Master of Public Affairs (MPA) students participating in the IISC program, Payton Colbert and Maggie Schnurr shared a student perspective. Both Colbert and Schnurr worked with the IISC partnership in Clinton. “I study policy and what makes it work and what makes it fail,” Schnurr says. “I think that it’s important to evaluate policy not just by standards of 'does it work' but by looking at 'who does it work for?'"
Wednesday, April 5, 2023
One of the most cross-disciplinary classes on campus is actually two classes that have opted to combine forces. Travis Kraus teaches Community Development through Creative Placemaking in the School of Planning and Public Affairs, while Loyce Arthur teaches Action! Engage! Art! Creative Placemaking for the Public Good in the Department of Theatre Arts. Undergrad and graduate students from those departments, as well as political science, dance, engineering, and public health meet to discuss creativity and equity in placemaking.
Sunday, April 23, 2023
The mural was made possible by the Maquoketa River Watershed Management Authority. Through an Iowa DNR watershed planning grant, they enlisted the help of the University of Iowa’s Initiative for Sustainable Communities program, which takes students out of the classroom and into communities to complete real-world projects.
Tuesday, April 11, 2023
For their capstone project, graduate students in planning and sustainable development have spent the year conceiving a new life for an area at the western entrance of Clinton, IA. The group sought public input during design charrettes in order to come up with four concepts for the narrow land that was once the site of a railroad repair shop.