Small Towns Across Iowa Receive Big Benefits from Students’ Work

Graduate students in Urban and Regional Planning (URP) have a unique opportunity at UI  that prepares them for work after graduation and assists Iowa communities in the process. The Iowa Initiative for Sustainable Communities (IISC), created in 2009 in URP, is a campus-wide program for students to apply what they have learned to a real-world project, giving them valuable experience while still a student.

Each year IISC selects one community in Iowa where a variety of projects will be done, involving students from different academic studies at the University.  URP's year-long projects allow students to start with a planning-related problem and to determine the best way to solve it. The Cedar Rapids Gazette recently published an article highlighting IISC and how it works to assist towns in becoming more socially, economically, and environmentally sustainable. This year the City of Keokuk was selected as IISC's focus community. URP students’ final reports from projects that benefited other communities over the past 10 years may be viewed here.