The program brings cross-disciplinary collaboration and research-backed solutions to complex municipal sustainable challenges, while at the same time adding value to students’ learning experience by providing real-world applications to each student’s field of study.
Past projects have included a P83 urban village visioning project, COVID-19 needs assessment, sustainable waste management, water conservation and drought shortage response plan, and a transit circulator best practices study.
In the fall 2021 semester, the city worked with 66 students and nine faculty members in the Project Cities program.
Current projects in the works include transit and recycling messaging, community engagement strategy, Dark Sky ordinance study, frameworks and guiding principles for historic preservation, as well as safe battery storage in residential areas.
Mayor Cathy Carlat said the Project Cities program is important because the subjects addressed are timely and the solutions found can pave the way for a better future.
“These are things that we would have to pay consultants large amounts of money for, so having the information we need to solve these kinds of problems is a really an important facet of what we can do as a community to help our residents move into the future,” she said.
And the coming year stands to bring a slew of new projects to the city. Potential subjects include fine glass recycling, sustainable growth in the face of water policy and participatory budgeting.
Anne Reichman, director of the Sustainable Cities Network at ASU’s Global Institute of Sustainability and Innovation, said she is looking forward to a productive semester with the city and hopes to continue to bring value to the city in the years to come.
“We really look to the city to tell us their needs and want to match them directly with the faculty and the classes that we know are coming up,” she said.
Philip Haldiman can be reached at email@example.com, or on Twitter @philiphaldiman.
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