The City of Dubuque has become well known in Iowa and across the nation in the last decade for the city's commitment to sustainability. Positioned along the Mississippi River, the river has played an integral part in the City's economy and resources. As the City has continued to grow and serve a tri-state area that includes Iowa, Illinois, and Wisconsin, they have addressed downtown redevelopment, industrial expansion, and riverfront transformation, incorporating sustainability principles and community engagement.




Dubuque- Advertising Campaign to Promote Outdoor Recreation in Dubuque

Juniors in the Tippie College of Business Marketing Institute created advertising campaigns for Travel Dubuque to promote the outdoor recreational opportunities in the Dubuque area, with a particular focus on attracting mountain biking enthusiasts to the area's growing trail infrastructure. 


Dubuque County Sustainability Indicators

In 2011, Dubuque Regional Smart Planning Consortium was formed and tasked with developing a regional sustainability plan. Building on the 2011-12's Indicator and Indicator Measures for 11 Sustainability Principles for the City of Dubuque, students created measurements for the sustainability goals outlined in the Smart Plan on a regional scale.


Housing for a Vibrant Dubuque

Students studied factors that affect a household's locational choice and developed seven recommendations for the City of Dubuque to fulfill its vision of creating a choice of livable neighborhoods and opportunities would attract and retain households, especially young professionals and families.


Increasing Mobility in Dubuque: Developing Alternate Mode-Sharing Opportunities

Students addressed the affordability of transportation by examining opportunities such as car-sharing and bike-sharing in The City of Dubuque. Students analyzed the accessibility of the current transportation system; solicited feedback from focus groups comprised of likely end-users; and synthesized demographic data to access locational feasibility.


Reimagining the South Port of Dubuque

Students developed four design alternatives for the South Port in that were in line with the sustainable vision of Dubuque and based upon significant community input. 

Following the redevelopment of the North Port, city officials in Dubuque wanted to identify improvements for the South Port, which is comprised of 33 acres of semi-industrial land.


Schools, Neighborhoods, and Student Outcomes

Students in the School of Urban and Regional planning partnered with the City of Dubuque because the Dubuque Community School District (DCSD) wanted to know the factors that contribute to elementary school student achievement.

Through their research, students created a community survey; a production function, a tool which identifies factors critical to student performance; and a hedonic preference model which identifies how DCSD's schools affect home values. In addition, students identified policy options for exploration by the City of Dubuque and DCSD.


Design of the Green and Healthy Homes Program

Graduate students in the School of Urban and Regional Planning worked with city officials to provide recommendations and two tools for the City of Dubuque to expand its Green and Healthy Homes Initiative (GHHI).

The tools developed included the Priority Model and economic feasibility calculator for rental units. Other recommendations included strategies to engage renters and landlords; innovative funding; interdepartmental cooperation building; and participant engagement and outreach.


Indicator and Indicator Measurement for 11 Sustainability Principles

Students studied over 40 indicator systems and 1200 potential indicators, and narrowed it down to 60 indicators specifically for the City of Dubuque and its 11 principles through discussion with city staff, public engagement, and analysis of comparable cities. The students developed a score card for each indicator to be used by officials.


Local Foods Action Plan

Dubuque city leaders wanted to increase the production and consumption of local foods as part of their Sustainability Dubuque initiative. In addition to common direct-to-consumer approaches, such as community supported agriculture programs and community gardens, Dubuque city leaders wanted to expand to a higher impact approach by expanding the market for local food producers to sell their products to large institutions.


Portrait of Poverty in Dubuque

Students researched who is in poverty and where they lived in Dubuque, IA; identified barriers to getting out of poverty; and developed recommendations for best practices in anti-poverty initiatives.

One of the cornerstones of sustainability is social/cultural vibrancy. After the City of Dubuque adopted its Sustainable Dubuque plan, city leaders wanted to explore poverty so sustainable initiatives could be provided that addressed the needs of the poor in an informed and efficient manner.


Renewable Energy Asset Map and Return on Investment and Policy Analysis

Students combined geophysical-based renewable energy capacity mapping with return on investment to evaluate how renewable energy can impact Dubuque's sustainability vision.

In order to sustain growth and demand for energy, the City of Dubuque was interested in developing policies for economic development that incorporated renewable energy.