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Project Cities-Glendale partnership begins its second year with new projects

September 21, 2019

Students going through guided tour of the City of Glendale’s Materials Recovery FacilityThe Project Cities-Glendale partnership is now entering its the second year, collaborating with Arizona State University students and faculty on contemporary sustainability challenges in the community. Over the last year, we have completed five projects, working with eight ASU classes, eight faculty and 108 students. The past projects covered an array of topics, including sustainable facilities, above-ground storage tank safety and compliance, fleet electrification, community engagement and social media policy.

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Arizona Planning Association chapter conference recap

September 16, 2019

AZ Planning Association members holding plaqueThe Sustainable Cities Network and ASU Project Cities attended the AZ Planning Association (AZ APA) State Conference from September 11 to 13, 2019. The conference is an annual gathering of planning professionals from both the public and private sectors to share best practices and celebrate successes. Several fascinating workshops were offered in four main areas: Nuts & Bolts, Environment, Transportation and Communities.

Former Project Cities student Maggie Dellow, PC Program Manager Steve Russell, Rudy Esquivias of Apache Junction, and Meagan Ehlenz from the School of Geographic Sciences and Urban Planning delivered a panel discussion on Friday morning to a packed house of over 100 attendees. The session highlighted a spring 2019 research project conducted by Dellow as her capstone project with the ASU Master in Urban and Environmental Planning Program. This was Dellow’s third public presentation of her research with Project Cities; past presentations were delivered to the Apache Junction City Council during a work session meeting (time 26:59 - 50:50), as well as to the ASU community via the Project Cities Spring 2019 End of Semester Showcase (time 1:05:36 -1:21:13).

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Project Cities launches new partnership with City of Peoria

September 13, 2019

Placemaking in Peoria event Fall 2019The new semester means new projects and partnerships for Arizona State University’s Project Cities. This August marks the inauguration of our newest partner, the City of Peoria. For their first year, we’ve matched five unique projects with a great multidisciplinary team of ASU students and faculty. Project Cities recently held a kickoff event with Peoria, as well as a site visit with another partner community, Glendale, to launch these new initiatives.

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Project Cities–Glendale: first round of summary reports released

August 5, 2019

Glendale Fall 2019 Final Reports

In the Fall 2018 semester, ASU Project Cities convened 47 Arizona State University students across five classes to collaborate with the City of Glendale on three unique community development projects. Following a fulfilling semester, the PC team is excited to share the completion of our Project Summary Reports which document the experience and provide a digestible, action-oriented guide to the high level strategies and recommendations posed by our students.

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Project Cities and Apache Junction celebrate advances in project implementation

July 23, 2019

Happy dog with a big tongueThe partnership between Arizona State University’s Project Cities program and the City of Apache Junction has been a successful, enduring one since the program’s conception in 2017. We are proud to have collaborated with Apache Junction on eight projects across 13 classes, with 213 ASU students since fall 2017. With all of the work our ASU students and faculty have completed, we are excited to see some real impacts begin to come about at the city, informed by Project Cities students’ research and recommendations!

While all the projects our students have completed with the City have proven informative, there are a few that have made significant progress since ASU’s involvement began: A proposal for an off-leash dog park, an RFP-based system overhaul for solid waste management, and a General Plan update incorporating sustainability. The first two started as student proposals from the fall 2017 semester, the third from spring 2018.

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Peoria and Project Cities lay groundwork for promising academic year

July 5, 2019

picture of peoria on mapCampus tends to slow down over the summer, but not at the Sustainable Cities Network. We’re hard at work preparing for the upcoming school year with our newest Project Cities partners: Peoria and Clarkdale. We had the opportunity to deliver remarks about the partnership at last week’s city council meeting. We are happy to share that Peoria City Council officially passed an important procedural milestone: the city approved adoption of the inter-governmental agreement that formalizes their partnership with ASU Project Cities.

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Watch video: Apache Junction and Project Cities partnership

June 26, 2019

moon above mountain in Apache JunctionThe Project Cities program would not be what it is today were it not for its partnership with the City of Apache Junction. As the inaugural partner during the Fall 2017 semester, the city was there from the very beginning. Since then, the two have collaborated on eight projects across 13 classes with 213 total students.

Many of these projects and the work the students produced with them have been further developed by the city and are making a real, tangible impact, allowing both the students and community to benefit. The time, effort and resources dedicated by the City of Apache Junction have resulted in an invaluable partnership that delivers on the ASU Charter and New American University Design Aspirations.

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Project Cities students continue to impress in end-of-semester spring showcase

May 8, 2019

Project Cities Student group photoAs the spring semester came to an end, Arizona State University students shared the work they had been doing with Project Cities in partnership with the City of Glendale and the City of Apache Junction. The Project Cities program works to connect local cities with ASU students, faculty directors and academic courses to research and propose solutions to sustainability challenges affecting the communities.

Students from four classes worked with the program this semester. Albert Brown, an instructor in The Polytechnic School's Environmental and Resource Management program, taught 39 students in ERM 401/501 Hazardous Waste Management to lead the development of a project outline and work plan for the City of Glendale involving above ground storage tank inventory and compliance.

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University-city partnerships: Paving new paths for students’ success

April 15, 2019

Zhihao Chen and Saskia Kemp standing in front of project cities posterAt Arizona State University, students are presented with many opportunities to gain hands-on experience in their field by learning outside of the classroom. One of these is our relatively young Project Cities (PC) program. PC helps students develop professional skills, apply classroom knowledge to real-world projects, and build networks with other students and professionals with local municipalities. A total of 21 classes and 329 students have participated in Project Cities over the course of four semesters since the program started in fall 2017.

PC staff interviewed two ASU students who had been involved in our program multiple times about their experiences with Project Cities. The first of these was Zhihao Chen, an entrepreneur and recent graduate from ASU’s Environmental Resource Management (ERM) program. The other was Saskia Kemp, a senior, also in the ERM program with a minor in Sustainability.

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Project Cities and Peoria work to conserve water

View Source | March 25, 2019

Sign about reclaimed water in Peoria, AZOn Cronkite News, see how Project Cities is working with the city of Peoria (the program's 2019-2020 community partner) to use water wisely. The video news story also touches on a previous Project Cities initiative with former partner Apache Junction.

"We all use water, and we need to have a better understanding of how we consume the water and what we are going to do to encourage further decrease in water consumption," said Lisa Estrada, sustainability manager for the City of Peoria. By collaborating with Project Cities, Peoria will create plans for water shortage response and water conservation.

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New Semester. New Projects. New Impact.

February 28, 2019

Woman holding a loudspeaker mic.It’s the start of an exciting new semester and we have three new projects with the City of Glendale and the City of Apache Junction. Through the Project Cities program, Arizona State University students will tackle challenging research questions and propose innovative sustainability solutions that enable the city to make progress toward a better future. This semester’s projects include: an above-ground chemical storage tank (AST) management plan, a fleet electrification transition plan, and a strategy for transitioning aging mobile home/RV parks.

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ASU Project Cities announces 2019-2020 community partner

February 7, 2019

ASU Project Cities is proud to announce our 2019-2020 Community Partner: The City of Peoria!

Peoria AZ logoPeoria is home to more than 171,000 residents and was ranked the number one place to live in Arizona by Money Magazine. With numerous recreational attractions, the city is well known as a family-oriented, active community with an exceptional quality of life. 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.

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Project Cities celebrates successful fall semester at student showcase

December 17, 2018

Student standing and smiling near poster presentation during discussion with Glendale city officialArizona State University Project Cities held its end-of-semester fall student showcase with the City of Glendale at ASU Wrigley Hall on November 28, 2018.

Project Cities is a young program at ASU that celebrates the power of project-based learning and the value of a client-centered educational experience for students. Project Cities aims to create value for students, faculty and local communities by drawing connections between university resources and real-world municipal sustainability challenges. Over the course of the 2018 fall semester, ASU students, faculty and City of Glendale staff worked collaboratively to address several environmental, social and economic sustainability challenges.

At the showcase, students from multiple ASU campuses and five different classes presented their research findings through engaging presentations and posters. One project generated best practices and drafted policies to support the city’s plan to hire their first full-time social media manager. Other projects proposed the creation of a youth civic engagement committee, provided recommendations for a new sustainable facilities master plan and more.

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Involving youth in multi-generational community engagement

November 20, 2018

Glendale multi-generational community engagement"Every young person can recall cringing as their elders embark on a “You kids have it so easy. Back in my day…” tale. And for many things, yes, perhaps life was more difficult; but this does not mean the youth do not continue to face their own unique set of challenges. Civic engagement is an area where many young people do not feel they belong and have trouble involving themselves. With the initiative of Project Cities, Arizona State University students and the City of Glendale worked to address this.

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Project Cities students put their social media skills to use for the City of Glendale

October 30, 2018

Arizona State University’s fall 2018 Project Cities program social media plan presentationDo you think you're social media-savvy? In this digital age, it seems you must be in order to stay on top of the latest trends. Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram, LinkedIn — these are classics that any seasoned veteran would know at this point. TikTok, Periscope, Marco Polo, Voxer… maybe not so much. In order to navigate this web of social media platforms and procedures, the City of Glendale worked with students from Arizona State University’s fall 2018 Project Cities program on a social media plan.

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Students put their education to work with sustainable city planning and policy

October 5, 2018

SOS/PAF 545: Organizations, Sustainability & Public Policy presentationFrom low-carbon systems and LEED-certified building construction to water and land conservation techniques, there are many ways to promote and practice sustainability within the community. While it can be easier said than done to implement these things, one Arizona State University class did just that through Project Cities. Led by Nicole Darnall, associate dean and professor of public policy and management in Arizona State University’s School of Sustainability, students in SOS/PAF 545: Organizations, Sustainability & Public Policy are working to create a more sustainable future in the Valley.

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Project Cities acts as mutually beneficial partnership that engages arts students

View Source | September 26, 2018

Project Cities acts as mutually beneficial partnership that engages arts studentsWorking for the benefit of our community is central to the mission of Arizona State University, but it’s actually a pretty radical idea, according to a professor who teaches students how to do it.

One of ASU’s eight design aspirations is “social embeddedness,” defined as: ASU connects with communities through mutually beneficial partnerships.

In the past few decades, the concept of “community engagement” has moved into academia and arts, said Michael Rohd, an Institute Professor at the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts.

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ASU students perform 'Positively Ghostly' scenes in Apache Junction

View Source | June 5, 2018

Two ASU students act out a scene for "Positively Ghostly" performanceIn the city of Apache Junction, at the foothills of the Superstition Mountains, graduate students from Arizona State University performed a series of theatrical scenes related to the city’s history. This event, called “Positively Ghostly,” brought to life tales of ghosts and lost treasures gathered from local residents, and illustrated the Old West history ingrained in the city. These performances allowed residents to connect with local legends and landscapes while reflecting on the value that their city brings to Arizona.

“Positively Ghostly” was a collaboration between the city of Apache Junction, ASU School of Sustainability students involved in Project Cities, and ASU Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts students. The event was part of a wider tourism project called “Positively Apache Junction” led by Project Cities, a university-community initiative within ASU's Sustainable Cities Network.

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ASU Project Cities hosts Spring Showcase April 25 to highlight student-driven solutions

April 19, 2018

Team of students presents their findings

In the ASU Wrigley Institute's Project Cities program, students in departments across ASU - including public service, urban planning, theater, history, and sustainability - have been diligently crafting solutions for Apache Junction's most pressing environmental and social challenges. See their hard work presented to the City of Apache Junction at this semester's Project Cities Student Showcase.

Project Cities is an interdisciplinary partnership between local cities and the university. It pairs teams of students in ASU courses with challenges presented by cities to create innovative solutions for cities and promote academic and professional development among students.

The showcase will take place on Wednesday, April 25th, 2018, on the ASU Tempe campus in the Memorial Union, Room 207. It will last from 12:30pm to 3:30pm, with a poster discussion continuing afterwards. Light refreshments will be served.

Please RSVP here.

Project Cities research asks East Valley residents to help create cultural map of the land

April 19, 2018

Landscape photo of Superstition Wilderness with saguaro

Think of a local spot you love to visit in your city. Is it a city park? A trailhead? A brewery or theater? If you live in the East Valley of the Phoenix area - or visit the East Valley or the Superstition Wilderness Area frequently - digital history students in an ASU Project Cities course project want to hear your answers.

The students are conducting a survey designed to identify the most important cultural landmarks of the East Valley – specifically, the Apache Junction area. The survey will inform the students’ suggestions for the City of Apache Junction to help improve geographical and cultural awareness and pride in the city.

This course project is one part of the Project Cities program’s year-long partnership with the City of Apache Junction. The partnership empowers ASU students to address the city’s environmental and social challenges through various course projects across multiple disciplines.

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