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May 8, 2019

Project Cities Student group photoAs the spring semester came to an end, Arizona State University students shared the work they had been doing with Project Cities in partnership with the City of Glendale and the City of Apache Junction. The Project Cities program works to connect local cities with ASU students, faculty directors and academic courses to research and propose solutions to sustainability challenges affecting the communities.

Students from four classes worked with the program this semester. Albert Brown, an instructor in The Polytechnic School's Environmental and Resource Management program, taught 39 students in ERM 401/501 Hazardous Waste Management to lead the development of a project outline and work plan for the City of Glendale involving above ground storage tank inventory and compliance.

Deborah Salon, an assistant professor in the School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning (SGSUP), led 27 students in PUP 424 Planning Methods to develop a transition plan that would advise Glendale on their transition to an all-electric passenger vehicle fleet. In contribution to this effort, senior sustainability scientist Nathan Parker, an assistant professor in the School of Sustainability, taught a select group of three honors students in SOS 324 Sustainable Energy, Materials and Technology.

Last but certainly not least, a capstone student in ASU's Master of Urban and Environmental Planning program worked with the City of Apache Junction on improving mobile home/RV parks while preserving affordable housing stock for the city. This capstone was advised by senior sustainability scholars Meagan Ehlenz and Salon, both in SGSUP.

The showcase included presentations from the students in these classes, followed by Q&A sessions and a longer poster session allowing them to further detail their research and proposals to the city partners. The work done by these students and faculty is intended to provide guidance for officials from the cities in executing plans to address these issues in the future and promote sustainable, safe development.

The showcase hosted a wide range of approximately 60 attendees, including staff and dignitaries from the City of Glendale and City of Apache Junction, ASU faculty, undergraduate and graduate students, and university staff. The City of Glendale delegation consisted of seven representatives, including Assistant City Manager Chris Anaradian, Field Operations Department Director Michelle Woytenko, and Barrel District Council Member Bart Turner, as well as project partners Monica Rabb and Amanda McKeever. Apache Junction, which is finishing its second year as a Project Cities Partner, had four representatives, including City Manager Bryant Powell and Director of Development Services Larry Kirch. Other represented municipalities included the cities of Clarkdale, Peoria, and Gilbert, along with Maricopa County Public Health and Maricopa County Department of Air Quality.

This was the fourth end-of-semester showcase hosted by Project Cities since its creation in August 2017. Project Cities is a member of the Educational Partnerships for Innovation in Communities Network and is administered by ASU’s Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability and the Sustainable Cities Network.

See photos from the showcase on Facebook.