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Project Cities releases first Impact Report, measuring five years of community partnerships

March 14, 2023

Since its start in 2017, Project Cities has partnered with four local communities, engaged 38 interdisciplinary faculty members, and facilitated over 75 high-impact projects with over 1,000 undergraduate and graduate students. As we look back on a transformative five years and celebrate our recent President’s Medal for Social Embeddedness, Project Cities is excited to announce the release of its first Impact Report.

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Students head to Town of Clarkdale for semester kickoff event

October 6, 2022

On September 22, 2022, students from 3 classes traveled to the Town of Clarkdale for the first in-person visit in two years. Joined by Clarkdale leadership and staff, students met with Town Manager Susan Guthrie, Community Development Director Ruth Mayday, and Mayor  Robyn Prud'homme-Bauer to brainstorm for their projects. 

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Student spotlight: Katy Hendricks

July 18, 2022

To highlight some of Project Cities' star students and faculty, PC staff sat down to interview Katy Hendricks. As a recent graduate with her Master of Public Administration, Katy recently accepted a position with a consulting firm, McKinsey & Company.

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Student spotlight: Hussain Farwa

March 31, 2022

To highlight some of Project Cities star students and faculty, PC staff sat down to interview Hussain Farwa. Farwa has worked on two Project Cities projects, one with the City of Peoria and one with the Town of Clarkdale.

Farwa’s first project was the COVID needs assessment for local businesses for the City of Peoria. For this project she worked on a peer community analysis to learn more about what other cities were doing to support local businesses during COVID. For her second project, she worked with the Town of Clarkdale to identify a peer community, Camp Verde, to identify recommendations for affordable housing issues. The following dialogue and summary come from an interview with Farwa about her experience in the Project Cities program.

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Student spotlight: Will Walker

July 7, 2021

We are pleased to highlight one of our star alumni, William Walker, a passionate sustainability undergraduate student. In Fall 2020, William worked with the Town of Clarkdale on the Sustainability park project in Nalini Chhetri’s Urban Sustainability Best Practices Application course. As part of this project, William worked on a small team to identify best practices for sustainability education and outdoor recreation for the Town’s 100-acre park, as well as strategies to develop sense of place through trails.

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Clarkdale and Project Cities recognized with ASU EPICS Community Catalyst Award

June 9, 2021

In other news, it was our pleasure to share this year's ASU EPICS Community Catalyst Award with our friends at the Town of Clarkdale. Over the years, the Project Cities team has arranged several projects with the innovative students in ASU EPICS, a program, of the Ira A Fulton Schools of Engineering. This particular project was a multi-team, multi-semester project assessing needs and strategies to help the Town of Clarkdale upgrade their digital infrastructure. The teams addressed some acute needs for better internet service for the community's students, as well as planning for longer-term needs, developing plans to incorporate strong public wifi and smart PA systems into planned park upgrades.

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Clarkdale project showcase recaps spring '21 projects

April 27, 2021

On April 15, 2021, ASU Project Cities hosted its third student showcase with the Town of Clarkdale. Students, faculty, and partners convened to learn more about this semester’s student projects, with video presentations from students. The floor was then opened for a Q/A session, presenting students with the opportunity to expand on their recommendations and connect with Clarkdale staff.


A video recording of the event will be posted to our YouTube channel, subscribe here.

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Project Cities Student Highlight: Keith Morphis

April 5, 2021

To highlight some of Project Cities’ star students, we interviewed Keith Morphus. Keith graduated from ASU in December 2020 with a Master’s in Urban and Environmental Planning. Keith has worked on three projects with Project Cities, covering various topics, including downtown revitalization and transit. With the Town of Clarkdale, Keith worked on the Downtown Revitalization Plan. With the City of Peoria, Keith worked on the P83 Urban Village Visioning project for his master’s culminating experience. The following dialogue and summary come from an interview with Keith about his experience in the Project Cities program.

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Recap: Measuring impact using the Sustainable Development Goals framework

March 29, 2021


Graphic showing the 17 Sustainable Development Goals
There are 17 Global Goals for Sustainable Development. Learn more at

On Wednesday, March 24, Project Cities Program Manager Steve Russell was joined by Dr. Gregory Broberg, community partners Tracie Hlavinka (Town of Clarkdale) and Jay Davies (City of Peoria), and EPIC-N Program Manager Marshall Curry to present at ASU’s Social Embeddedness Network Conference. The conference brings together various university faculty, staff, students, and community partners to present on their work in community engagement and public services.

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Students meet Clarkdale leadership to discuss project during spring 2021 kickoff event

February 4, 2021

On January 29, 2021, ASU Project Cities hosted the Clarkdale Kickoff. This virtual event featured a panel discussion with Town leadership about Clarkdale’s values and character, followed by breakout meetings between students and their project leads.  Students were joined by a team of town stakeholders, including: Mayor Robyn Prud’homme-Bauer, Vice Mayor Debbie Hunseder, and Town Manager Tracie Hlavinka.

Students engaged the Clarkdale team in a wide-ranging conversation, starting with collecting insights and contacts for their projects, but also reaching into the panelists’ career trajectory and community values.

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Students demonstrate resilience and success in fall 2020 showcase

December 7, 2020

On December 2, 2020, ASU Project Cities hosted our 7th biannual Student Showcase for the Fall 2020 semester. The event included video slideshow presentations from each student project group as well as Q&A sessions for more in-depth conversations about student’s recommendations for city leadership. The projects spanned a variety of topics, ranging from waste management and communicating during the pandemic, to developing smart towns, and sustainable parks. This transdisciplinary group of students had undergraduates, graduates, or individual capstone students from different backgrounds and educational interests.

This semester, the program supported 12 new projects and 240 students participated. Students partnered with two communities: the City of Peoria and the Town of Clarkdale. A video recording of the event is available on our Youtube channel.

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Expert community panel sessions lend project inspiration

November 14, 2020

On Thursday, October 29th students joined community experts from the City of Peoria and the Town of Clarkdale for two informative panel sessions. The Project Cities team was thrilled to further connect ASU students with city and town leadership to answer questions and gain further insight on this semester’s projects. If you missed the live discussions, check out the recordings below!

City of Peoria Communication Office Panel

Students from classes in sustainability leadership, communication, and engineering interacted with panelists Jennifer Stein, Peoria’s Director of Communications, and Kristina Perez, Peoria’s Marketing and Communications Manager, as well as ASU risk communication scholar, Majia Nadesan. Our community experts lent their professional perspectives on public relations and communication amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Virtual showcase recap, spring 2020

May 21, 2020

On April 29, 2020, ASU Project Cities hosted our first-ever entirely virtual Student Showcase for the Spring 2020 semester. Over one hundred attendees appeared on Zoom throughout the day to learn from this semester’s students and discuss their research findings. The event featured multiple virtual “rooms,” including the main stage presentations and their project findings and breakout Q&A sessions. A virtual “lobby” also remained open throughout the day for tech support, a reception, and networking.

The online showcase featured a mix of 74 graduate and undergraduate ASU students with diverse backgrounds and educational interests. This semester, students partnered with two communities: the City of Peoria, and the Town of Clarkdale on six projects. A video recording of the event is available online here.

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Clarkdale kick-off event sets the tone for a promising semester

February 3, 2020

Early Friday morning on January 31, 2020, 17 sleepy masters students in PUP 580: Planning Workshop, disembarked from a large gray charter bus to Clarkdale, Arizona. After two hours on the road, the ASU students, with their professors Meagan Ehlenz and Kim Kanuho, headed into the Old Memorial Clubhouse to meet with town leadership for the spring semester Project Cities kick-off. Project Cities’ kickoff events offer an initial opportunity for students and faculty to interact with town staff, set the tone for the semester, and get everyone started off on the right foot. Sipping coffee in the cool, crisp air, the students were eager to gain additional information and perspective for their developing projects. This spring, these students will work with Clarkdale to develop downtown revitalization plans focused on their historic business district and the 89A commercial corridor.

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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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