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.
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.
- Workforce and Industry Analysis
- Economic Development
- Urban Renewal
- Strategic Planning
- Industrial Ecology
- 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.)
- Civic Design
- Ecological Corridor Design
- Product Design
- Historic Preservation
- Community Engagement
- Public Relations Campaigns
- Engagement with Marginalized Communities
- Stakeholder Engagement
- Community Advisory Council
- 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
- Legal Analysis
- Local Codes for Sustainability
The Sustainable City Year Program returns to the Portland region to partner with the City of Troutdale, a community of 16,000 located at the confluence of the Sandy and Columbia rivers.
Students will work on a variety of projects, from affordable housing research and design and cottage cluster design standards to promoting Troutdale for business, living, and visiting. Participating academic disciplines include architecture, landscape architecture, law, planning, public administration, nonprofit management, journalism, engineering (Portland State University) and others. Through classroom work, applied learning assignments, and collaboration with the city, SCYP students will endeavor to help Troutdale work towards its optimal future.
City of Troutdale (2020-2021)
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.
Learn more about the places, projects, and possibilities that make up SCYP's past and present.
Gresham and Eugene (2018-2019)
La Pine (2018) - Small City Pilot
METRO, Multnomah County, Troutdale and Gresham (2014-2015)
Springfield & Lane Transit District (2012-2013)