A coalition of climate leaders has formed in Mason City Iowa. City officials, along with faculty and students from the University of Iowa’s Iowa Initiative for Sustainable Communities (IISC) are working together to create multiple climate action plans that would directly impact and improve the community. Projects include creating a plan for more efficient waterways use and development, increasing bikeways, and developing a food waste analysis and action plan. The partnership offers a cost-effective way for Mason City to increase sustainability efforts, and university students also get valuable hands-on, real world experience through these projects.
This type of partnership is a great way for city and community leaders to leverage local resources—like universities and community colleges. As the demand for climate solutions in cities increases, mayors must identify which resources they have at hand, and how to put these to work. Local schools, colleges and universities are often a source of untapped expertise that community climate leaders should integrate into their climate toolkit.
Learn more about developing and implementing climate solutions in your city by joining Path to Positive Communities.
By Mary Pieper | The Globe Gazette | March 13, 2016
MASON CITY — Faculty and students from the University of Iowa will be working with Mason City officials on a number of projects designed to improve services and increase quality of life.
Those projects could include making Mason City a more bicycle-friendly community, collecting and analyzing city bus system data to better serve citizens, and enhancing downtown alleys and parking areas with murals and other artwork.
“It’s kind of exciting because we have an opportunity to do some innovative projects and do them very cost-effectively,” said Steven Van Steenhuyse, director of the Development Services Department for Mason City.
The university faculty will bring their expertise while the students will bring “enthusiasm and new ideas,” Van Steenhuyse said.
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