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December 9, 2019

Project Cities Student ShowcaseOur Fall 2019 semester boasted a robust mix of 7 projects with nine classes of Arizona State University students. The Project Cities (PC) program connects students and faculty from the university with Arizona municipalities to collaborate on developing potential solutions to local sustainability challenges the communities face. This semester, students partnered with three communities: the City of Glendale, City of Peoria, and Town of Clarkdale on seven projects with the help of 150 students across 10 classes.

This semester’s showcase featured the following projects:

City of Peoria

  • Water Conservation and Drought Contingency Planning with Majia Nadesan’s COM 414/CMN 598: Crisis Communication class. Students researched and developed messaging for the City to promote water conservation and educate its residents about water scarcity issues.
  • Communitywide Placemaking Study with Gregory Broberg’s JUS 305: Principles of Justice Studies class. A multi-layer public opinion survey of residents, employees, elected officials, schools, and businesses was conducted to identify which placemaking activities would be most valued by community members. The findings were then used to inform students’ proposals for which activities the City should pursue.
  • Transit Circulator Best Practices with Bailey Borman’s course, CPP 201: The Next Generation Service Corps’ Community Impact Lab. This course required students to use the Design Thinking model to research best practices for the City’s Peoria-on-the-go (POGO) transit circulator and propose solutions for increasing youth ridership.
  • Smart City Technology Feasibility Study with Nalini Chhetri’s class SOS 498/598: Urban Sustainability Best Practices class and Pat Phelan & Mike Wiles's BUS 593/ SEC 598/ FSE 598/ SOS 594: Interdisciplinary Applied Learning Lab. 20 undergraduate and graduate students worked together to generate an inventory of smart city technologies currently utilized by the City, and to identify future areas of growth, where new technologies can be implemented. SWOT analyses were provided for several buckets of smart cities technology, and students presented both short- and long-term recommendations.
  • Skunk Creek Recreation Corridor Plan with Joshua Loughman’s FSE 104: EPICS Gold course. The students developed feasible and implementable concepts to activate an under-used corridor, and transform it into a recreation-oriented walkability corridor that ties in placemaking elements that highlight the City’s history and culture.

City of Glendale

  • Recycling Program Enhancement Study with Al Brown’s ERM 532: Sustainable Solid Waste Management course. In an effort to adapt to changes in the recycling commodities market, 26 students reviewed the city’s current recycling program and proposed recommended changes, as well as social and monetary cost impacts of those recommendations.

City of Clarkdale

  • Downtown Business Revitalization Plan with Deborah Salon’s PUP 642: Urban and Regional Economics, and Malcolm Goggin’s PAF 509: Public Affairs Capstone. Students in both courses focused developing strategies to revitalize and unify Clarkdale’s historic Central Business Area. Capstone students Hannah and Neelam identified strategies to bolster historic preservation efforts and creative funding strategies. The planning student group produced a series of several conceptual recommendations for new community engagement and activation opportunities.

We are proud to have completed our fifth semester with the young Project Cities program. It is a great privilege to facilitate these university-community collaborations with our amazing partner communities. This semester’s student work addresses numerous local sustainability issues, and we look forward to continuing this work in the coming semesters.

You can find photo highlights of the event on our Facebook page.

Project Cities is a member of the Educational Partnerships for Innovation in Communities Network and is administered by ASU’s Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability and the Sustainable Cities Network. Stay up to date with Project Cities and the Sustainable Cities Network by following us on social media or subscribing to our newsletter.