Sustainability Resources

The Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) is a leader in working with communities to sustain and enhance Iowa’s high quality of life. IEDA does this through program integrated technical and financial assistance that encourages sustainable community practices. Green, sustainable practices protect and build on local economic, social and natural assets, provide a long-term competitive economic advantage and help communities to thrive even in hard times.

Community Sustainability Highlight

Charles City: America’s Hometown is a Main Street Iowa town of 7,652 and a real leader in demonstrating sustainable community revitalization strategies. Charles City has constructed 25 blocks of residential porous paver streets that cleanse and cool stormwater, installed Iowa’s first whitewater trail at Riverfront Park, is beginning a major downtown storefront improvement project and is supporting development of a model housing project featuring 38 homes that through energy efficient design and construction and the use of renewable energy targets producing as much energy per year as they use while also managing stormwater where it falls.


Smarter Sustainable Dubuque Receives National Innovation Award
The Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University announced the Top 25 programs in this year’s Innovations in American Government Award competition, including Smarter Sustainable Dubuque.

Community Best Practices

The Sustainable Rural Downtowns Case Study Series
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently released a series of case studies profiling nine rural communities that leveraged USDA funds to strengthen their unique assets, build affordable housing, enhance economic competitiveness and preserve natural resources.

Complete Streets: A to Z
The website of the National Complete Streets Coalition is a comprehensive resource for communities and agencies that are working toward creating a safe, comfortable, integrated transportation network for all users, regardless of age, ability, income, ethnicity or mode of transportation. In response to frequent requests from Complete Streets supporters, the Coalition has developed materials for communities at every stage in the Complete Streets process.

Age-Friendly Communities: The Movement to Create Great Places to Grow Up and Grow Old in America
This document, produced by Grantmakers in Aging, spotlights notable age-friendly programs, highlights issues and best practices, and offers insight from top thought leaders to assist funders and grant-making agencies in developing age-friendly community initiatives.

Pilot Communities

IEDA has partnered with West Union and Woodbine, Iowa as green demonstration communities to implement, evaluate and promote sustainable community practices.

  • Energy Savings Progress, Woodbine and West Union Main Street Districts [PDF: 1.2MB]

West Union