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City of Peoria 
Partner Community 

City of Peoria
Partner Community

City of Peoria
Partner Community

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City of Peoria

Two people in Kayaks on Lake Pleasant

Ranked as the No. 1 place to live in Arizona by Money Magazine and the only Arizona city named as one of the best cities in the U.S. by Yahoo! Finance, the city of Peoria is currently home to more than 171,000 residents. The city enjoys a reputation as a family-oriented, active community with an exceptional quality of life. Peoria entertainment and recreational amenities include popular attractions such as Lake Pleasant, a large network of trails and open space, community parks, recreation centers, community theater, libraries, pools, and the spring training home for the San Diego Padres and the Seattle Mariners.

The city has demonstrated a strong commitment to sustainability, as evidenced by its directive to incorporate LEED building design standards, a council-adopted Sustainability Action Plan, and a dedicated full-time staff person to manage and coordinate organization-wide sustainability initiatives.

View Peoria’s community profile to learn more about its demographics, history, and sustainability initiatives.

City of Peoria projects

Sustainable Waste Best Practices

Recycling raw materials is a complex process with unique logistical challenges for each material type. Additionally, materials that are recyclable may not necessarily be recycled if there is no viable reuse market for any material. Peoria’s Public Works Department has requested ASU support in exploring the feasibility of adopting a solid waste program for challenging materials, such as textiles and e-waste, as well as investigate alternative approaches to solid waste management.

  • ERM 432/532 Sustainable Solid Waste Management with Albert “Al” Brown, Fall 2020: Students examined the challenges and opportunities for these materials and conducted case study analysis of peer communities. Students provided Peoria with recommendations for exploring the recyclable reuse market that focused on building partnerships with other communities and funding strategies.
  • ERM 432/532 Sustainable Solid Waste Management with Albert “Al” Brown, Fall 2021: Students researched best practices for recycling e-waste. A second group of students investigated the feasibility of a biomass gasification program.
  • ERM 432/532 Sustainable Solid Waste Management with Albert “Al” Brown, Fall 2021: Students researched best practices for recycling e-waste. A second group of students investigated the feasibility of a biomass gasification program.
  • ERM 593 Applied Project with Albert “Al” Brown, Spring 2022: Capstone student, Shruti, investigated the benefits of recycling fine glass and conducted a life cycle assessment to recommend fine glass recycling best practices.
  • ERM 593 Applied Project with Albert “Al” Brown, Fall 2022: Capstone student, Annie, conducted a life cycle assessment and cost benefit analysis for green waste.

Fall 2020 final summary report l Addressing Challenging Waste Streams: Textiles and EPS
Fall 2021 final summary report l Sustainable Waste Management: E-Waste, Biogas and Syngas
Spring 2022 final summary report l Novel Applications For Fine Glass Waste: Reuse and Recycling
Fall 2022 final summary report | Opportunities for Green Waste Scaling in Peoria

Historic Preservation: Frameworks and Guiding Principles

historic buidlings in PeoroaFounded in 1886 by midwestern settlers, Peoria is nestled in the Salt River Valley and extends North into the foothills around Lake Pleasant. Peoria’s economy has been largely agriculturally focused, and has since grown into a flourishing city, with diverse local industries and a reputation for high quality of life. As the City grows, it is interested in maintain the historical integrity of the community through preservation efforts.

  • PAF 509 Public Affairs Capstone with Malcolm Goggin and LaDawn Lingard, Spring 2023: Three capstone students distributed and analyzed community survey results to recommend strategies for present and future development of the Palo Verde Ruin.
  • PAF 509 Public Affairs Capstone with Daniel Schugurensky, Fall 2021: Three students identified six peer communities and conducted a literature review of historic preservation best practices and strategies.
  • PAF 509 Public Affairs Capstone with Malcolm Goggin and LaDawn Lingard, Spring 2022: Capstone student, Pam, worked with Peoria’s Library Manager to research and review peer community historic preservation plans to provide recommendations for the preservation of the Palo Verde Ruin.

Fall 2021 final summary report | Historic Preservation & Revitalization in Old Town Peoria

Data Governance & Content Management Strategy

The need and demand for digitally accessible information from municipalities has grown significantly in recent years. Cities, such as the City of Peoria, are often responsible for managing large and complex amounts of data and content on their websites in order to serve their communities effectively and efficiently. To continue providing high quality service to residents, the City of Peoria seeks assistance in performing an analysis on the municipal website to determine the current state and strategize for efficiency improvements.

  • TWC 445/545 Content Strategy with Leeanne Sorenson, Spring 2023: Technical Communication students collaborated with Peoria’s Chief Information Office to analyze and identify industry standards the City could incorporate to make the website more efficient.

Resource Guide to Support Aging in Place

Ranked as one of the best places to live in Arizona, the City of Peoria strives to provide the best quality of living for all its residents. As its population grows and continues to age, the City of Peoria is interested in developing a city resource guide that is geared towards older persons and includes information about the City’s health services, recreation programs and classes, as well as how to be an active member of the community.

  • HCA 509 Interventions to Support Aging in Place with Aaron Guest, Fall 2022: Graduate students from the Edson College of Nursing and Health Innovation conducted an age-friendly assessment to help identify and compile age-friendly services and interventions to provide recommendations on how Peoria can integrate these into a comprehensive resource guide.

Fall 2022 final summary report | Resource Guide to Support Aging in Place

Extreme Heat Communication

Extreme heat is an increasingly complex challenge for cities to consider in its public safety and awareness programming. With the recent launch of the nation’s first Office of Heat Response and Mitigation within the City of Phoenix, additional cities are considering how to integrate heat safety into their public communications and public safety strategies. Currently, the City of Peoria is partnering with the Maricopa Association of Governments (MAG) to host cooling centers and hydration stations as part of the Heat Relief Regional Network. Peoria’s Office of Emergency Management has enlisted the assistance of ASU students to research and identify areas in need of heat preparedness, as well as inform communication strategies for the City of Peoria to inform residents about extreme heat safety and the City’s existing responses to mitigate extreme heat.

  • TWC 401/501 Fundamentals of Technical Communication with Kathryn Lambrecht, Fall 2022: Students collaborated with Peoria’s Emergency Manager to design messaging about extreme heat for the City of Peoria, focusing on the user experience of the messaging and various audiences like Peoria’s unhoused population and seniors.

Water Policy Strategies

If the current, severe drought continues, the Central Arizona Project’s (CAP) water deliveries will be negatively impacted, affecting not only Peoria, but peer communities as well. To address this challenge, the City of Peoria is exploring strategies to increase water conservation behaviors among their residents, and, developing shortage response plans, should conservation fail. The City is thus seeking ASU assistance to develop conservation strategies and communication plans around elements such as: regional and local cooperation, possible water cutbacks, scenario planning, and other recommended strategies.

  • COM 414/ CMN 598: Crisis Communication with Majia Nadesan, Fall 2019:
    Students learned theoretical and professional perspectives of crisis communications, which were then applied to develop sample messaging and visualizations for the City of Peoria.
  • ERM 598: Water Resource Management with Larry Olson, Spring 2020:
    Students in a professional certificate program applied technical knowledge and industry expertise to develop guiding strategies for proactive water conservation measures, and shortage response plans, if needed.
  • STC 593: Applied project with Capstone Student, Denise and Majia Nadesan, Spring 2020:
    Graduate student, Denise, carried the Fall ‘19 crisis communication class’ work forward to the next level by conducting targeted focus group studies of Peoria residents, in order to assess the effectiveness of the messaging campaigns developed by her peers and identify the strongest strategies.
  • SOS 321 Policy and Governance in Sustainable Systems withCandice Carr Kelman, Spring 2022: Students split into six groups to research peer community policies for water and land use to recommend strategies for Peoria’s water policies, codes, and ordinances.
  • PAF 509 Public Affairs Capstone with Malcolm Goggin and LaDawn Lingard, Spring 2022: Capstone student, Jade, collaborated with Peoria’s Water Services Director to research best practices for tiered water pricing and recommended ideal pricing levels to encourage water conservation.

Fall 2019 final summary report | Engaging Residents in Water Conservation Practices
Spring 2020 final summary report | Planning for Scarcity: Water Conservation in Peoria, Arizona
Spring 2022 final summary report | Water Policy Strategy: Tiered Rates & Water Management

Community Placemaking Study

Peoria has been ranked as the Number 1 place to live in Arizona by Money Magazine and is the only city in the state named as one of the best cities in the U.S. by Yahoo! Finance. The city thus enjoys a reputation for being family-oriented, active community with an exceptional quality of life. The practice of placemaking interventions driven by local governments, is coming into vogue among municipal planning circles as a variety of forms of engagement with the community, which contributes to a “sense of place.”

Continuing with this reputation, the city seeks student support in identifying the placemaking activities and interventions that would be most valued by the community, through the administration of a public opinion survey and analysis.

  • JUS 305: Principles of Justice Studies with Gregory Broberg, Fall 2019:
    Students developed and conducted a multi-layer study which sought to identify residents’ views on placemaking and characteristics thereof in three targeted character areas: “Old Town” Peoria, the “P83” District, and the “Four Corners” area. Under faculty and community guidance, students conducted a wide-reaching survey of Peoria residents.
  • PUP 593 Applied Project with Keith, Meagan Ehlenz, and David King, Fall 2020: Keith conducted case study analysis and literature review to identify key interventions and redevelopment opportunities for Peoria’s P83 district.

Fall 2019 final summary report | Developing Community Identity Through Placemaking
Fall 2020 final summary report | Enhancing Connectivity in the P83 District

Transit Best Practices

The City of Peoria recently launched its first transit circulator, the “Peoria on the Go” (POGO) bus. This city-run bus service, which is available for free to residents and visitors, connects neighborhoods with local services, activity centers, specific character areas, and the larger metropolitan Phoenix transit system. Peoria is interested in learning from other communities’ successes and failures in transit circulators, to better understand attributes of successful route planning, roll-out, route adjustments, ridership, stop locations, ideal target destinations, and how effectively the city is serving its residents.

  • CPP 201: Community Impact Lab with Bailey Borman, Fall 2019:
    Students used the human-centered problem-solving method known as “Design Thinking” to develop potential solutions to the observed under-utilization of the Peoria POGO circulator by young people (12 – 18 years old).
  • PUP 598: Transportation Planning with David King, Spring 2020:
    Urban planning masters students conducted a benchmarking study of peer communities to identify best practices in managing transit circulator programs locally and globally. Students also evaluated first-mile/last-mile conditions for Peoria’s transit circulator users to identify issues and provide strategic recommendations to remedy any potential gaps.
  • CEE 474/574 Transportation Systems Planning with Mikhail Chester, Fall 2022: Students researched microtransit models in other urban areas, as well as identified opportunities for implementing microtransit in Peoria’s existing transportation systems.
  • SOS 324 Sustainable Energy Technology & Systems with Nathan Parker, Fall 2022: Undergraduate students from the School of Sustainability reviewed strategies for fleet electrification.

Fall 2019 final summary report | Driving Public Transit Forward Through Youth Input
Spring 2020 final summary report | Optimizing POGO Services Through Case Study Analysis
Fall 2022 final summary report | Strategies for Municipal Fleet Electrification
Fall 2022 final summary report | Microtransit Strategies & Opportunities for Peoria

Smart City Technology and Innovation Feasibility Study

The City of Peoria seeks to better understand what being a “Smart City” means for their community and how they can play an important role in this regional effort. In particular, the city is interested in learning about the opportunities it has for advanced technologies that increase efficiency and quality of services for the future. This project aimed to provide clarity to the Smart City concept that is gaining momentum both on the regional and global scale. By engaging in this project, city leaders position themselves to elevate and advance Peoria’s standing in Smart City innovation and technology, while continuing to advance a sustainable, resilient, and healthy community.

  • SOS 498: Urban Sustainability Best Practices Applications with Nalini Chhetri, Fall 2019:
    Sustainability students explored potential strategies for local governments in pursuit of becoming a Smart City and developed short-term goals specific to Peoria.
  • BUS 593/SEC 598/FSE 598/SOS 594: Interdisciplinary Applied Learning Lab with Michael Wiles and Patrick Phelan, Fall 2019:
    Interdisciplinary students in this class focused on general Smart Cities market research and developed long-term project goals for Peoria’s consideration.

Fall 2019 final summary report | Envisioning a Smart Peoria: Leading the Way with Innovative New Technology

Skunk Creek Recreation Corridor Plan

The Skunk Creek corridor is a natural wildlife area in the City of Peoria that includes a mixed-use trail system following along a creek bed. This area is an example of one of many options the city presents to its residents to engage in active outdoors experiences. This project aims to create a recreation-focused design concept for the activation of the corridor, as defined, inclusive of the creek channel, flood plain, overpass bridges, as well as the channel banks.

While working on this project, students designed initial design concepts that are feasible and implementable that also tie into Peoria’s history, culture, and sense of “place”. This included conducting background research on the area and the community in order to establish foundational concepts to guide future development in the corridor, as well as interviewing community stakeholders, conducting a literature review, and researching existing or past site plans.

  • FSE 104/404: EPICS GOLD with Joshua Loughman, Fall 2019:
    Students conducted an initial assessment of potential activation opportunities for the Skunk Creek corridor, with an eye toward both passive and active recreation opportunities. Students provided tiered recommendations for the city in an attempt to help prioritize high-impact investments to benefit members of the surrounding community.
  • FSE 104/404: EPICS GOLD with Joshua Loughman, Spring 2020:
    Students caried forward the work of the past semesters’ through a detailed feasibility assessment and refinement of the ideas proposed. Students assessed considerations and potential barriers such as right-of-way, grade, ADA compliance, code issues, and property ownership.

Fall 2019 final summary report | Strengthening the Community by Activating the Skunk Creek Trail
Spring 2020 final summary report | Reimagining Skunk Creek as a Valued Local Asset

Sustainability Plannning

Municipal governments nationwide are stepping up to take leadership in sustainability planning. By setting ambitious but attainable goals, then mobilizing department leadership to attain them, cities and towns have found significant potential to transition communities to a more sustainable future.. To assist Peoria’s future sustainability planning efforts, ASU students from varying disciplines worked to evaluate Peoria’s sustainability planning.

To assist Peoria’s future sustainability planning efforts, ASU students from varying disciplines worked to evaluate Peoria’s sustainability planning.

  • SOS 321: Policy and Governance for Sustainable Systems with Candice Carr Kelman, Spring 2020: Students analyzed and compared Peoria’s Sustainability Action Plan to other plans across the United States in a comprehensive benchmarking study and developed recommendations to further strengthen the City’s sustainability plan.
  • EMS 589 MSL Capstone Prep with Shirley-Ann Behavresh and Stephanie Pfirman, Fall 2020: Students elevated the work of a spring 2020 class by investigating and developing an outreach campaign to collect feedback from residents on the City’s Sustainability Action Plan.
  • EMS 588 MSL Capstone with Shirley-Ann Behavresh and Stephanie Pfirman, Spring 2021: For the second part of the MSL capstone project, students analyzed the results of the public outreach campaign to inform the development of key performance indicators (KPIs) for intradepartmental sustainability initiatives.
  • PAF 509 Public Affairs Capstone with Malcom Goggin and LaDawn Lingard, Spring 2021: Two graduate students independently researched and developed recommendations for funding strategies and opportunities to elevate the Sustainability Action Plan.
  • CEE 507 Urban Infrastructure Anatomy and Sustainable Development with Mikhail Chester, Spring 2023: Students from the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering collaborated with the City’s Sustainability and Water Conservation Coordinator to review peer community sustainability dashboards and green building codes to recommend strategies for the City of Peoria to build out its sustainability planning.

Spring 2020 final summary report | Sustainability Planning: Best Practices and Insights
Fall 2020 and Spring 2021 final summary report | Sustainable Peoria: Strategic Plan Updates & Program Funding

COVID-19 Community Assessment

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to unprecedented challenges and expectations for municipal entities to meet the needs of its residents as they face turbulous changes in their communities. Peoria enlisted the assistance of 3 ASU courses to tackle various challenges posed by the pandemic to conduct detailed assessments of the community to identify key needs and potential opportunities for Peoria’s intervention.

  • JUS 385 Justice and Everyday Life with Gregory Broberg, Fall 2020: Students examined the lived experiences of Peoria residents throughout the pandemic, particularly by conducting workshops with community organizations to identify the unmet needs of Peoria residents and provided recommendations for connecting local resources with Peoria’s residents and community organizations
  • COM 415 Risk Communication with Majia Nadesan, Fall 2020: Students conducted literature reviews to identify best practices in risk communication that will convey safety information and share resources to Peoria’s residents without causing fear or backlash in light of the pandemic. Students developed recommendations to enhance Peoria’s communications channels to share resources and information with the public.
  • PUP 642 Urban and Regional Economic Analysis with Deborah Salon, Fall 2020: Businesses were particularly hit by the pandemic. Students evaluated various areas of impact, including restaurants and fitness centers to inform recommendations for the City of Peoria to support their local businesses while activating its key business corridors, like the P83 district.

Fall 2020 final summary report | COVID-19 Effects: Community, Business, and Communication

Community Forestry Plan Review

In the context of rising urban heat, cities and towns are beginning to better understand and appreciate the value and necessity of incorporating shade into urban spaces; especially when it comes from natural sources like trees. Shade is essential for increasing comfort and walkability and helps to decrease the urban heat island effect. The City of Peoria seeks to enhance its shade master planning efforts by enlisting the help of students to develop the foundations of a new urban forestry program.

  • SOS 582 Sustainability Project Management with Paul Prosser, Fall 2020: Students conducted a literature review of peer communities to identify best practices for shade planning. Students developed a detailed project plan.
  • SOS 593 Applied Project with Paul Prosser, Spring 2021: Students continued the work of the Fall 2020 semester by implementing the project plan.

Fall 2020 and Spring 2021 final summary report | Sustainable Urban Enhancements: Community Forestry

Affordable Housing Study

The United States continues to be challenged with providing affordable and accessible housing, especially for disadvantaged minority groups. As Peoria continues to grow, the city remains vigilant in its attention to ensure a viable local housing market that meets the needs of the community. Peoria enlisted the assistance of ASU urban planning students to analyze housing trends to identify existing gaps and recommend interventions for fair housing.

Accessory dwelling units (ADUs) offer a promising intervention for the city to empower its residents to address the needs for attainable housing by renting out additional living units on their properties, such as guest houses. Students studied current housing market trends with an intersectional lens focused on race, social-economic status, and multi-generational needs. Students engaged with Peoria’s Planning & Zoning department to review and advise on the implementation of ADU strategies, as a means of addressing the need for more affordable housing options in Peoria.

  • PUP 580 Planning Workshop with Meagan Ehlenz, Spring 2021: Students conducted peer community analysis by reviewing zoning ordinances related to the implementation of ADU strategies.
  • PUP 525 Urban Housing Issues with Deirdre Pfeiffer, Spring 2021: Students studied housing trends in Peoria to discover existing gaps in livability as caused by sociological and financial factors.

Spring 2021 final summary report | Sustainable and Affordable Growth in Peoria

Public Messaging Campaigns

Peo[le standing outside of a pbulic transit van. The City of Peoria offers a variety of services that are on the cutting edge of sustainability. Two of its most notable efforts including the recently relaunched POGO neighborhood circulator, and the sustainable waste management programs. To better inform residents of the benefits of these services, students developed messaging campaigns to educate and advance these services to Peoria residents.these services to Peoria residents.

  • CMN 520 Communication Campaigns with Nicole Lee, Fall 2021: Students split into two groups to work with city staff on developing messaging campaigns to educate residents about two services: the relaunched POGO circulator and the city’s sustainable waste management programs. Students conducted an Omnibus survey with Peoria residents to better inform and target their messaging campaigns.

Fall 2021 final summary report l Communication Campaigns: Public Transit & Recycling

Community Engagement Strategy

City of Peoria public information booth.Peoria’s Office of Communications strives to provide equitable access to information for its residents. However, the team is finding that many residents regularly fail to receive important messages about critical activities, such as public engagement processes, public safety information, road closures, and more. The Communications department seeks ASU support in better understanding Peoria’s hard-to-reach audiences.

  • JUS 500 Research Methods with Gregory Broberg, Fall 2021: Students created a research proposal that outlines a community engagement outreach strategy, which will be enacted in the Spring 2021 semester.
  • JUS 456 Human Rights & Sustainability with LaDawn Haglund, Fall 2021: Students interviewed Peoria staff about their perceptions of sustainability and human rights in the context of city planning.
  • JUS 301 Research Methods with Gregory Broberg, Spring 2022: Undergraduate students conducted a community survey of Peoria residents to determine how they access information and to inform recommendations for Peoria’s communication strategies.

Spring 2022 final summary report | Community Engagement Strategies

Dark Sky Ordinance Study

Aerial view of city at night showing all the lights.The International Dark Sky Places conservation program seeks to recognize communities for their night sky preservation efforts through the Dark Sky Community designation. In line with Peoria’s goal to provide a high quality of life for their residents, the Planning and Zoning department seeks to develop a Dark Sky ordianance to create a night-time eco-friendly environment that allows for serene observation of the night sky.

  • • SOS 498/594 Urban Sustainability Best Practices with Nalini Chhetri, Fall 2021: Students researched the benefits and requirements to attain the Dark Sky designation, and provided recommendations to adapt the existing code.

Fall 2021 final summary report │ Protecting Peoria Skies: Drafting a Dark Sky Ordinance

Safe Battery Storage Study

A sikar battery storage unit on side of house.Safe battery storage is vital to reducing extreme events and ensuring the safety of first responders and residents. The storage of batteries, particularly 9-volt batteries, have led to house fires due to unsafe storage practices. One capstone student consulted with Peoria’s Fire-Medical department to examine safety considerations for battery storage.

  • PAF 509 Public Affairs Capstone with Malcolm Goggin and LaDawn Lingard, Fall 2021: Capstone student, Justin, researched safe storage practices for lithium ion batteries (LIB) and recommended safety strategies for Peoria’s Fire-Medical department.

Fall 2021 final summary report | Battery Energy Storage Safety in Residential Settings

Peoria in the news

| Peoria Times, June 27, 2019 | The city of Peoria formally approves Project Cities’ partnership for 2019-2020 school year

| Your Valley, June 26, 2019 | Peoria looks forward to new ideas and innovative approaches from ASU Project Cities student

| The State Press, February 11, 2019 | Project Cities recognizes past and current community partners, while also looking forward to new partnerships for 2019-20 academic year