Poster: Midwestern Sustainability: The 'Wright' Fit

Monday, May 8, 2017 | 1:30 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.

You'll learn about:

  • The opportunities and challenges for planning sustainability in a small-sized regional retail and healthcare hub
  • How to integrate unique local community assets and characteristics into sustainability strategies
  • How to use strategic focus groups for a sustainability plan in conjunction with a comprehensive plan update

Mason City—a small regional health-care and retail hub in northern Iowa—recently adopted a project that uses arts and culture as a starting point to engage the community and to stimulate dialogue among residents for envisioning a sustainable future.

How has the community moved forward in the face of challenges such as a slow population decline, a reduction in manufacturing employment, an ailing downtown shopping mall, and flooding vulnerabilities? This project recognized those challenges even as it promoted local assets—like a Frank Lloyd Wright-designed hotel—to achieve sustainability goals and create new opportunities for sustainable practices. The framework also recognizes aging-in-place as a rising social concern in many small- and medium-size communities.

This poster explores how four planning students are collaborating with residents, organizations, businesses, and governments to lead a project to expand sustainability awareness, build upon existing assets, and identify opportunities for improvement.


Menno Schukking , Omaha , NE (see bio)
Frank Waisath , Rapid City , SD (see bio)
Shiqin Liu , Iowa City , IA (see bio)
Tasha Beghtol , Washington , IA (see bio)
Activity Type: Posters
NPC Topic: Sustainability