Sustainability in Town-Gown Communities Webinar
Learn how three innovative ICLEI USA member local governments — Bloomington, IN, Iowa City, IA, and Oberlin, OH — work hand-in-hand with local colleges and universities on climate protection and sustainability.
Learn how these town-gown communities create a truly livable environment for students and townies alike. Specifically:
- Aligning sustainability goals of a large campus with those of the local government to avoid costly duplication of effort
- Innovative partnerships on projects such as solid waste diversion from student housing
- Coordinating on timely issues, including renewable energy
- Jacqueline Bauer, Sustainability Coordinator, City of Bloomington, IN
- Doug McMillan, Energy Service and Sustainability Initiatives Manager, City of Oberlin, OH
- Brenda Nations, Environmental Coordinator, City of Iowa City, IA
- Moderator: Brita Pagels, Midwest Regional Officer, ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability USA
What Is a Town-Gown Community?
The Midwest is home to many world-class institutions of higher learning— from small-town liberal arts colleges to the Big Ten. Town-gown communities are different from most municipalities. The transient nature of the student body, a resident population of academic scholars, taxation challenges, and the sheer size of a campus make collaboration on climate and sustainability performance especially important.
As a town within a town, college campuses often set the tone for climate and sustainability action for the larger community. Furthermore, local governments have limited authority over how the campus consumes energy, processes waste, and houses the student body.
Colleges and universities are economic drivers, research powerhouses, and purveyors of social equity. Town-gown communities have the benefit of proximity to go full-throttle on climate and sustainability action. But do they?
(Photo: Oberlin College by baslow on Flickr)