Capstone Projects

Comparative Assessment of Sustainability: Fox Valley Municipalities, Wisconsin

Program: Sustainable Management Master's
Location: Not Specified (onsite)
Student: Jenna DeShaney

When facing modern issues related to society, the economy, and the environment, part of the solution is to create, support, and strengthen sustainable communities. This responsibility falls on communities of all sizes, large or small. This paper explores how twelve communities in Wisconsin’s Fox Valley are incorporating sustainability in current and future strategies. The three research objectives are as follows: (1) to understand each community’s current level of commitment to sustainability; (2) to compare sustainability strategies of local municipalities and exemplary case studies; and (3) to suggest improvements to sustainability strategies for the Fox Valley municipalities. The paper begins with an introduction of sustainable communities and the differences between cities, towns, and villages. The Background discusses Wisconsin’s history, as well as the history of the Fox River and the twelve Fox Valley communities. Four case studies are examined: Littleton, Colorado; San Francisco, California; and Brussels, Belgium and Copenhagen, Denmark. From there, the author presents the results based on various interviews and online research of each Fox Valley community. To close, recommendations are suggested for each Fox Valley community and limitations of the study are described. The overall goal of this paper is to encourage open communication and a sharing of ideas and strategies between the twelve communities in order to foster a more sustainable Fox Valley.