Dubuque is Iowa’s oldest city and among the oldest settlements west of the Mississippi River. Its proximity to the River and its abundant land and resources has long attracted migrants and immigrants who call Dubuque home. The City offers an eclectic mix of history and tradition yet celebrates innovation and forward-thinking. The architecture and bluffs draw people to Dubuque which serves as the major retail, medical, education, cultural, employment center for the tri-state area.
Dubuque takes great pride in the slogan ‘Masterpiece on the Mississippi,’ but such was not always the case. In the 1980s, Dubuque experienced difficult times. The city had double digit unemployment, an exodus of residents, a struggling downtown, and disconnected neighborhoods. Community leaders from the private and public sectors joined in community visioning efforts focused on downtown redevelopment, industrial expansion, sustainability and reconnection to the river. While significant progress has been made, Dubuque’s commitment to sustainability and resiliency for residents and visitors will propel us into the future.
Students in a Journalism and Mass Communication class, will focus on general public communication built around Dubuque's goal to achieve 50% greenhouse gas emissions by 2030. The students will focus on communications with local businesses around the climate goals.
Students in a photojournalism class will spend three days in Dubuque documenting projects related to sustainability and everyday people's efforts to reduce emissions, create a healthier city. Their photographs will provide an essential layer to the two projects developed by other students in Journalism and Mass Communications on behalf of Dubuque.
A cool roof is designed to reflect more sunlight than a conventional roof, absorbing less solar energy. This lowers the temperature of the building just as wearing light-colored clothing keeps you cool on a sunny day. For their capstone project, students in Civil and Environmental Engineering will summarize current and emerging technologies for “cooling” sites and buildings (think cool roofs, etc.).
Students in a class in Journalism and Mass Communications will develop a newspaper insert that serves as a guide for Dubuque citizens to better understand their city's services and opportunities related to sustainability.
Dubuque has been working to improve access to affordable housing and is poised for the next step in its process. In recent years, it has had several different kinds of housingassessments completed. It has incentivized homeowner rehabilitation and has passed incentives for developers to create nearly 800 new units. It’s also created more infill by removing dilapidated buildings. Despite considerable action in this area, Dubuque faces challenges.
As part of its ambitious sustainability plans, Dubuque seeks to reduce vehicle dependency and vehicle miles traveled (VMT) and create/promote accessible and equitable transportation alternatives.
The capacities for Dubuque’s stormwater detention basins were established in the early 1990s. Since that time, annual rainfall has outpaced predictions and is expected to increase in the coming decades. The City and area watershed administrators are considering redesigning existing detention basins while also understanding the capacities for future ones.
The City of Dubuque wants to diversity its transportation system and provide more environmentally-friendly and cost-effective options to residents and visitors. It asked students in a marketing class to review the pros and cons of an electric bike and/or scooter share program.
College of Law students who are part of the Community Empowerment Law Project will work with the Community Foundation of Greater Dubuque to better understand the issue of chronic absenteeism among Marshallese students. They will seek to understand the relationship of these students and their families to the schools, establish current policies that may be affecting the situation, and make recommendations for new policies and improved communication.
Like many communities in the midwest, Dubuque has many people whose first language is not English. Local government has an obligation to ensure these residents are included in all aspects of civic life. This includes having information that enables them to participate in city activities, ranging from library programs and recycling, to elections and parks. They also need to be able to receive important information about health and safety, such as immunization programs and extreme weather notices.
Libraries are the pride of many communities in the United States, offering free access to many materials, programming, access to internet and other technologies, and serving as a meeting place. They are also safe spaces for neurodivergent individuals who rely on them as a place for daytime shelter, information, and other resources.
A collection of metal pipes and other parts from former playground equipment will serve as the materials for Jamie Weinfurter, an MFA student in studio arts, to create a new sculpture. Weinfurter will work with the public, especially students and staff at Audubon Elementary School, to get ideas and collect additional materials for the sculpture. It will eventually be located near the school in the Bee Branch Creek Greenway.
As Dubuque seeks to make its streets more accessible to bikers and pedestrians, it is especially interested in ways to make several major thoroughfares safer. One of these is JFK Road, a major north-south arterial road.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.