Drake University Sustainability & Law Reports

Several weeks ago students in Drake University’s Law School’s Sustainability course presented five proposals to forty public officials, including mayors and councilmembers. The proposals, designed to enhance sustainability in central Iowa, include draft ordinances, detailed analyses, stakeholder interviews, and funding options.

In the course, students learn about sustainability by getting out of the classroom and into the city. Students begin by identifying unsustainable conditions in the community. They then analyze how the law exacerbates or allows those conditions to occur. Next, students review best practices from around the world and draft local code amendments to improve upon the conditions. Students receive constant stakeholder and expert feedback. The course is a collaboration among Drake, The Greater Des Moines Partnership, and the Des Moines Area Metropolitan Planning Organization.

The final reports and presentations can be viewed at the links below.

The complete and compiled reports, which were designed by students in Drake University’s Publication Design course, can be viewed here. Individual reports are:

  • Biking to a Better Des Moines: Reducing Pollution, Relieving Traffic, Improving Health and Spurring the Economy by Encouraging Bicycling (view here)
  • Place-Making through Community-Based Landscape Management (view here)
  • Food Trucks: A Desert Oasis (view here)
  • Des Moines Eco-District Overlay (view here)
  • Healthy Helpings: Harnessing the Power of School Nutrition (view here)