Poster: Midwestern Sustainability: The 'Wright' Fit
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.
Confirmed SpeakerMenno is a member of the Transportation Planning and Environmental Group of SRF Consulting, located in the Omaha office. At SRF, he performs survey analysis, GIS mapping, data gathering, drafts memos, and writes grants. He graduated with a Master of Science degree in Urban and Regional Planning from the University of Iowa, focusing on land use, economic development, and transportation planning. His interests are in sustainable cities, transit orientated development, and bicycle planning. Prior to joining SRF, Menno held positions as Economic Development and Planning Intern at the City of Coon Rapids, MN, as Urban Forestry Intern at the South Dakota Department of Agriculture, as Historic Preservation Intern at the South Dakota State Historic Preservation Office, and as Legislative Intern for the South Dakota Senate. Internship experiences involved preparing economic development reports, policy analysis, census data analysis, GIS mapping, and historical research and site inspections.
, Rapid City
Confirmed SpeakerFrancis Waisath is a Master's Candidate in the School of Urban and Regional Planning at The University of Iowa, specializing in GIS and Land Use and Environmental Planning. Francis received his undergraduate degree in Geography from The University of Iowa and has spent time working as a research assistant, AmeriCorps member, and planning intern for the City of Newton, IA and the Metropolitan Planning Organization of Johnson County.
, Iowa City
Confirmed SpeakerShiqin "Shirley" Liu is a Master’s Candidate in School of Urban and Regional Planning at The University of Iowa, focusing on Economic Development and Land Use Planning. Shirley received her undergraduate degree in Urban Studies from the Cleveland State University, and previously interned with the Cleveland Restoration Society, working on historic preservation and neighborhood renovations in the Greater Cleveland Area.
Confirmed SpeakerTasha Beghtol is a Master's Candidate in the School of Urban and Regional Planning at University of Iowa, focusing on Housing and Community Development planning. Tasha received her undergraduate degree in Communication Studies at the University of Iowa, and is currently the Director for a local Early Childhood Iowa area government board that provides funding to programs serving children 0-5 in Southeast Iowa. Prior to returning to school, she was a dance studio owner and teacher for 13 years. Tasha stays connected to her dance roots by teaching ballet to young students at a local studio in Washington, Iowa.