In 2008, West Union decided to champion the practices of sustainable urban design, and was designated a Green Pilot Program by the Iowa Department of Economic Development. The Green Pilot program will assist the community in creating sustainable practices including energy efficient measures for local businesses and green infrastructure in many projects across the city. Construction on a 6-block streetscape project is currently underway, showcasing several green components.
As a green Pilot Project, West Union is a pioneer in establishing best practices for the implementation of green infrastructure. West Union realizes that urban areas are part of, not separate from, the natural cycles of the prairie. And will serve as a model and outdoor classroom to communities that want to improve their economic viability through sustainable green infrastructure. Water, is treated as a resource instead of an obstacle, and the new streets and sidewalks are being constructed with porous pavers. The project is scheduled to be completed in December of 2012.