The Iowa Initiative for Sustainable Communities (IISC) is a campus-wide engaged learning organization. The IISC partners with rural and urban communities across Iowa to match students and faculty to projects that are proposed by our partners and address priorities for advancing quality of life in the state. The IISC matches community needs with the expertise and resources of the University of Iowa faculty and students, and continuously adds new faculty and courses to the initiative.
Through developing projects that address community priorities while engaging students in impactful experiences throughout the state, the IISC pursues a dual mission of enhancing quality of life in Iowa while transforming teaching and learning at the university. The partnerships between students, faculty, and community members that are facilitated by the IISC draw stronger connections between the University of Iowa and the state, advancing the university’s strong commitment to mutually beneficial engagement with Iowa communities. These 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, engaged futures for our students.
For more information visit https://iisc.uiowa.edu.
Current Community Partnerships
Beginning in the 2016-17 academic year, the IISC entered a partnership with the East Central Intergovernmental Association and the City of Mason City.
East Central Intergovernmental Association
East Central Intergovernmental Association (ECIA) is the regional Council of Governments for the eastern Iowa five county region of Cedar, Clinton, Delaware, Dubuque, and Jackson counties. All 71 municipalities in the five county region are members. ECIA was formed to develop regional solutions for local governments facing similar problems. Since 1974, ECIA has provided services and programs ranging from community and economic development to housing assistance and transportation planning. As a regional entity, and in partnership with individual communities, ECIA has worked on a number of sustainability initiatives including community revitalization, greenspace development, local foods, and more. Working with the IISC will allow ECIA to continue to serve numerous Iowans, from rural to urban communities.
Located in northern Iowa in Cerro Gordo County, Mason City is known for its diverse economic composition and its rich arts and culture background, especially for music and architecture. With a population of over 28,000 people, Mason City serves as economic and retail hub for the area, drawing individuals from northern Iowa and southern Minnesota. As Mason City, like other Midwestern towns, have made transitions as the economy has shifted, the city has invested in initiatives that has set it up for growth and new development. Mason City's partnership with the IISC will allow them to explore sustainable projects and processes and incorporate them into building for the future.