Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science/Master of Community and Regional Planning


Community and Regional Planning


Sustainable Agriculture

First Advisor

Carlton W. Basmajian


Across the United States, cities and towns of all sizes are employing sustainability and resilience strategies in an attempt to address a myriad of challenges - natural disasters, rapid development, dwindling populations (Beatley, 1992; Campbell, 1996; Krueger, 2005). Yet, little is known about the communities with populations under 50,000 that are taking a sustainability approach to development. This research employs qualitative methodology to better understand Fairfield, Iowa, a City with a population of under 10,000, that is utilizing a sustainability approach to community development. This case study uses in-depth interviews, a narrative analysis, and a participatory plan evaluation to understand how and why sustainability has become a strategy for community development. Results demonstrate the importance of community engagement, proactive leadership, and goal oriented planning. This research offers insights into the way in which sustainability emerged as a theme in the Fairfield community, how it is being implemented, and elements for other communities to consider when engaging with sustainability.

Copyright Owner

Anna M. Bruen



File Format


File Size

123 pages