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By Nicole Ginley-Hidinger

Sustainable Cities Initiative Research Associate, Rob Zako, describes himself as an avid bicyclist. It’s a bit of an understatement. During graduate school he was the president of a local bike club and he met his wife on a bike trip along California’s Big Sur. After moving to Eugene 19 years ago, his passion led him to his involvement in Lane County politics when the hot topic was TransPlan, the regional transportation plan for all modes of transportation (including biking) around Eugene and Springfield.

SCI’s Sustainable City Year Program has been recognized as a leader in higher education sustainability initiatives, and program Co-Directors and Associate Professors Marc Schlossberg and Nico Larco have been busy sharing the details of the program at recent conferences across the country.

Story by Kit Aldridge

What city wouldn't be pleased with around $1 million in extra earnings for the year? Thanks to a team of Oregon MBA students, the city of Salem, Oregon, enjoyed just such a financial bump.

It all started back in 2010, when students in associate professor of management Jennifer Howard-Grenville's Industrial Ecology course spent a term working with Salem as part of the University of Oregon's internationally regarded Sustainable Cities Initiative (SCI).

The Sustainable City Year Program’s year-long partnership with the city of Medford launched over the weekend with a special community engagement and city visioning process with Medford’s Latino community.

Over 100 community members stopped by the SCYP booth at the 20th Annual Greater Medford Multicultural Fair on Saturday to discuss the present and future of their city. The interactive initiative aimed to create a fun, inviting space for dialog about Medford’s future.

A University of Oregon program that pairs faculty and students with local cities for sustainability projects has been something of a best-kept secret. But those days might be numbered.

So says Mariah Hudson-Dula, sustainability coordinator at San Diego State University, the latest institution among a half-dozen nationwide to adopt the UO’s Sustainable City Year Program. When Hudson-Dula and Geoff Chase, dean of Undergraduate Studies, learned about the program at a national conference last year, they knew it was right for their university.