University of Oregon

Sustainable Cities Initiative

Sustainable City Year Conference


Fourth Annual Sustainable City Year Conference


Details about the 2015 SCYP Conference will be announced soon. Want to keep up to date with conference developments for the Fourth Annual Sustainable City Year Conference?

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Meet us in Minneapolis for the 4th Annual Sustainable City Year Conference!

The Sustainable Cities Initiative will hold a three-day conference, April 12-14, 2015, for university representatives, city officials, and organizational partners who are interested in adopting and adapting the Sustainable City Year Program (SCYP) model to their home institutions and community contexts. The event will take place at the University of Minnesota and will be hosted by UMN's Resilient Communities Project. The conference and workshop is highly engaging, interactive, and participatory and will help attendees get from the big idea to implementation techniques. Special capacity building and peer to peer learning sessions for currently running SCYP programs will also be included. 

If you have any questions about the Sustainable City Year Conference, please contact

What is SCYP?

The Sustainable City Year Program is a catalytic learning model that leverages existing courses to work on applied community projects identified by community stakeholders (i.e. city, county, school or transit district) over an entire academic year. The primary difference between SCYP and other engaged learning pedagogies is the scale, multi-disciplinary, opt-in, and community engaged nature.  In the Oregon implementation, 500 students across 10+ disciplines and 30+ courses work with a single city each year.  The large scale approach provides a wide range of benefits for students, faculty, universities, and communities. 

Praise for SCI

SCYP has been described as "perhaps the most comprehensive effort by a U.S. university to infuse sustainability into its curricula and community outreach" (NY Times - full article) and "one of higher education’s most successful and comprehensive service-learning programs" (Chronicle of Higher Education - full article).

Praise from Past Conference Attendees:

"This was by far the most valuable conference I have attended. SCYP really is a winning model, and can be replicated with very little resource investment. The conference provided our team all of the tools we needed to get our own program up and running, and establish buy-in among the campus and community. This conference was an absolute game changer for us."

- Kelly Ellenburg of the Smart Communities Initiative, University of Tennessee

"The Sage Project has helped students at San Diego State University to discover a sense of place and the role that they can play within the greater San Diego area. In doing research and proposing designs and solutions with National City this year, students have been better able to see the value of their work and the possibility that they can make a positive, meaningful, and lasting contribution within their own community. This has been a strong motivator for the students, who now are able to better recognize that their work matters, that they can make a difference, and that their community needs them."

- Jessica Barlow of the Sage Project, San Diego State University

"The Sage Project is a meaningful partnership that allows National City to remain committed to, and in some cases accelerate, our strategic goals during a time when most cities are struggling to provide basic services.  San Diego State University has so much brainpower, and now it is being directed to help deal with real issues at a local level as part of a larger effort by universities to play a meaningful role in the sustainability of their communities."

-  Brad Raulston, Executive Director of Development, National City



2014 SCYP Conference Presentations

Use your conference participant password to review and download conference presentations here.