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Turning Sustainable Practice into Reality

The Sustainable Cities Initiative (SCI) is an applied thinktank focusing on sustainability in cities.  We work across disciplines inside and out of academia to re-define the delivery of higher education, conduct applied and policy-relevant research, and serve the public in the design and development of sustainable, resilient, and livable cities.  Our work is consistently applied, multi-disciplinary, and sustainability focused, matching the complexity of cities with the disciplinary expertise to match.  We focus on everything in cities, from sustainable architecture to transportation to engaging marginalized communities to impacting the larger, relevant policy frameworks at the local and state levels.

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SCYP is a unique university-community partnership program that annually matches 25-30 courses between the University of Oregon to a single Oregon community over an academic year.  500+ students give 40,000+ hours of classroom-based effort to work on community-identified projects ranging from urban design to industrial ecology and everything in between.  SCYP is currently working with the City of Albany and we are currently soliciting community proposals for partnerships for the 2017-18 academic year.

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Urbanism Next is a proactive effort to understand and influence the sustainable design of cities in an era of driverless cars, the sharing economy, e-commerce, and changes in demographic lifestyle preferences. We are working across disciplines in academia, the public sector, private industry, and nongovernmental organizations to get beyond technology and focus on cities.  This blog is just the start; white papers, purposeful symposia, targeted research, and model code/policy development are being initiated now. 

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EPIC-N is the network of universities implementing the “EPIC Framework,” an innovative, large-scale, and award-winning university-community partnership program based on our SCYP program. Over 25 other universities have since adopted and adapted the model for their institutional and community contexts, demonstrating the replicable, sustainable, and proven ability of this model to help cities move forward while also providing students the type of learning opportunities they increasingly demand.

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Latest News

CityLab has posted a report from this years Consumer Electronics Show and – unsurprisingly – the roll-out of AV’s seems to be focused on shared fleets and they will focus on freight and high occupancy transport.  Cost seems to be the largest factor early on with AV technology being cost-prohibitive for individual ownership (although Tesla might have something to say about that).  Another reason is simply the ability to monitor and modify cars and algorithms – much easier to do roll-out and testing in limited contact points via larger shared fleets.

Congratulations to Mugs Scherer and Rachel Struxness student report writers of the year. Mugs completed Redmond’s Midtown Neighborhood: Five Visions report in fall term 2015 and Rachel completed the Strategic Public Relations Plan & Client Materials-Redmond Wastewater Division report winter term 2016. Landscape Architecture professor Robe Ribe and instructor Jeff Krueger were presented instructor of the year award for Land Planning and Design and Senior instructor Beth Hjelm who taught Business Strategy and Planning. Thank you all for an amazing year of work.

Swedish students Nicholas Braun, Thomas Hutle, and Milan Vonk from the School of Engineering Blekinge Institute of Technology defended their master's project on SCYP. The Swedish students based their research on SCYP mission approach to increase sustainable development through higher education.