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January 10, 2020

Visionary Springtime Projects

Project Cities is proud to kick off a total of five projects with the City of Peoria and the Town of Clarkdale for the spring 2020 semester. Through the Project Cities program, Arizona State University students collaborate with neighboring cities to investigate sustainability challenges in the area and tackle challenging research questions in order to recommend solutions that the city can implement. This applied, project-based learning approach reinforces classroom lessons while also empowering students to give back to the community. This semester’s projects include a water resource management plan, a transit circulator improvement plan, a feasibility assessment of recreation corridor improvement proposals, a sustainability review and a downtown revitalization strategy.

Peoria Projects

Students in the FSE104/404: EPICS Gold course led by Joshua Loughman are working to advance the Skunk Creek Recreation Corridor Plan project. Skunk Creek is an under-utilized ephemeral stream and drainage channel which connects residential areas, parks and points of pride. The students are examining opportunities to implement aspects of placemaking, to increase recreation activations and to improve walkability and bikeability for their inherent benefits to the community.

The Drought Contingency Planning project is led by Larry Olson and his class ERM598: Water Resource Management. This class will be focused on Peoria’s main water resources and finding out what their vulnerabilities are. Student researchers seek to develop a plan that highlights the adaptive capacity of water resources in the area and evaluate how the water should be used as the city grows. The plan will also include recommendations regarding drainage, xeriscape and how to communicate current drought to the community.

Additionally, one capstone student, Denise is working on the messaging and communication component of this project, under the guidance of Majia Nadesan for STC 593: Applied Project. Her work picks up where our Fall 2019 Crisis Communication class left off, developing messaging strategies designed to encourage behavioral changes in residents. Additionally, she will develop an augmented reality app with tips and tricks for residential water conservation.

David King will guide his class PUP598: Transportation and Land Use Planning to advance the Transit Circulator Best Practices study for the City of Peoria. Students working on this project will survey current riders in the area to see how people use the POGO circulator, amid pending changes to the service. They will also compare their studies with other similar transportation services regarding locations, boarding hours, riding frequency and wait times among other variables.

Lastly, students in SOS321: Policy and Governance for Sustainable Systems lead by Candice Carr Kelman are working on the new Sustainability Plan Review project. Students in this project will analyze Peoria’s Sustainability Action Plan 2.0, which strategizes around plans for land-use, transportation, energy waste, water, and green space. Students will benchmark the plan against 18 other communities, in order to outline recommendations to improve the city’s sustainability practices.

Clarkdale Projects

For the Town of Clarkdale’s Downtown Business Revitalization Plan, ASU students from PUP580: Planning Workshop instructed by Meagan Ehlenz and Kim Kanuho will create a detailed development strategy for the Town of Clarkdale’s infrastructure. Student researchers will conduct stakeholder engagement with the community and business owners in the area to identify sentiment around design aesthetics, priority amenities and more.

2020 Showcase

At the conclusion of these semester projects, students will present reports on their analysis and actionable recommendations to their respective clients. Project Cities staff are doing their part to facilitate the projects by arranging project logistics and events, facilitating coordination between city staff, course instructors and students, and providing editing help for all five projects’ final reports. Projects will conclude at the end of the Spring 2020 semester, with an end of semester showcase on April 29th to highlight the incredible work done by the program’s students.

Want to learn more? RSVP for the showcase at links.asu.edu/PCShowcase_RSVP