Sustainable City Year Program

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SCYP is transforming Oregon communities large and small

Through year-long partnerships, the Sustainable City Year Program helps communities solve the problems of today and lay the groundwork for a sustainable, livable future—all while helping students prepare for the workforce through applied learning.

Partnering with SCYP

Current Partnership - Hermiston

Past Partnerships

Student and Faculty Resources

About SCYP

The Sustainable City Year Program (SCYP) matches University of Oregon students with an Oregon city, county, special district, tribe, or partnership of governments for an entire academic year. Students work on partner-identified projects through existing courses to provide ideas for real solutions to community challenges and sustainable development.

“Student efforts on these projects inject fresh perspectives into our design processes to help fuel innovation in applied sustainability and expand the benefits for the communities we serve.”  - Jeb Doran, TriMet Senior Project Manager

Cities and communities are staffed with leaders who want to make real change. These leaders are passionate about moving their cities into the future but are far too often limited by a lack of resources, staff and budget. The Sustainable City Year Program harnesses the innovation and energy of University of Oregon students and faculty to provide ideas that will address critical projects and support progressive and sustainable initiatives. This working relationship puts university talent to work to strengthen Oregon communities.

Throughout each course, students conduct research, visit the community, and engage with stakeholders. At the end of each term, they present their findings either in the community or on campus in sessions that are open to the public. Following each course, ideas and research from the class are synthesized into a final report for the community, ensuring that the insightful work remains accessible long after the course ends.


Typical Projects and Classes

The broad range of issues communities face can be matched with the similarly broad range of expertise and focus of SCYP. The following list captures many of the typical project areas that past communities have focused on.

Each project yields a synthesized, professional report that becomes a decision-making deliverable for our community partner (and a great workforce development project for the student report writers). The past final reports are available in the Past SCYP Partnerships section below.

  • Business
    • Workforce and Industry Analysis
    • Economic Development
    • Urban Renewal
    • Strategic Planning
    • Industrial Ecology
  • Planning
    • Public Transit
    • Bicycle/Pedestrian Planning
    • Wayfinding (with digital arts)
    • Parks and Open Space Planning
    • Downtown Revitalization
    • Housing Opportunities
    • Land Use and Growth Management
    • Planning for New Mobility
    • Design (Architecture, Landscape Architecture, etc.)
      • Retrofits
      • Civic Design
      • Ecological Corridor Design
      • Product Design
      • Historic Preservation
      • Passive Heating
    • Community Engagement
      • Public Relations Campaigns
      • Engagement with Marginalized Communities
      • Stakeholder Engagement
      • Community Advisory Council
    • Geography
      • Remote Sensing and Mapping
      • GIS Analysis
      • Community Asset Mapping
    • Public Policy and Management
      • Budget Analysis
      • Policy Analysis
      • Nonprofit Consulting
      • Housing Needs Analysis
      • Municipal Finance
      • Land Use and Growth Management
      • Parking Policy
    • Law
      • Legal Analysis
      • Local Codes for Sustainability 

    Current SCYP Partnership


    City of Hermiston Logo

    City of Hermiston (2021-2022)

    For the first time in its history, the Sustainable City Year Program will be working in eastern Oregon as it partners with the City of Hermiston. Sitting at the heart of the Pacific Northwest, Hermiston is the region’s trade center and is experiencing significant growth. Now in its 13th year of partnerships with Oregon communities, this fall SCYP will connect Hermiston with five courses, all in the UO’s School of Planning, Public Policy and Management. During winter and spring terms, Hermiston will work with Portland State University’s Civil and Environmental Engineering capstone course. More courses will be added throughout the year as project and course matches are made.

    Throughout the year, students will work on a variety of projects, from North Hermiston land use and design to a fiscal analysis and case studies focused on a potential community center, as well as a transportation engineering project. Students will also analyze the value of "brick and mortar" libraries in an online era and facilitate community discussions in small groups. Students will conduct their work in-person and online, presenting solutions to city staff and community stakeholders both virtually and in-person.

    Participating academic disciplines include planning, public administration, engineering (Portland State University) and others. Through classroom work, applied learning assignments, and collaboration with the city, SCYP students will endeavor to help Hermiston work towards its optimal future.

    Virtual Open House


    Past SCYP Partnerships

    Since 2009, SCYP has opened pathways that connect a broad range of Oregon cities and agencies to the innovative, dedicated, and energetic brainpower of the Univerity of Oregon. These relationships help create outcomes that extend well beyond the yearlong partnership. The impact of SCYP continues for many years not only as student recommendations come to fruition, but also as students enter the workforce prepared for careers in service to Oregon communities. SCYP is much more than a one-year project with a consultant – it's a connection to the University of Oregon and a platform for a sustainable future.

    All Past Reports   Report Covers 2009-2021   Project Summaries



    City of Troutdale Logo
    City of Troutdale (2020-2021)
    Special Project: Hood River (Winter 2020)
    LTD Logo
    Lane Transit District (2019-2020)
    Silverton Logo
    City of Silverton (2019-2020)
    Gresham and Eugene (2018-2019)
    Special Projects: Springfield and Dunes City (2018-2019)
    La Pine (2018) - Small City Pilot

    Reports     Proposal     Projects     Videos

    TriMet (2017-2018)

    Reports     Proposal     Projects     Videos


    Albany (2016-2017)

    Reports     Proposal     Projects

    Redmond (2015-2016)

    Reports     Proposal     Projects

    METRO, Multnomah County, Troutdale and Gresham (2014-2015)
    Medford (2013-2014)

    Reports     Proposal     Projects

    Springfield & Lane Transit District (2012-2013)


    Springfield (2011-2012)

    Reports     Proposal     Projects

    Salem (2010-2011)

    Reports     Proposal     Projects

    Gresham (2009-2010)



    SCYP is a proud member of the

    EPIC-N Logo



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