Project Cities connects higher education with local communities, creating a powerful combination of knowledge and know-how.
Project Cities is a university-community partnership. Through the program, sustainability faculty and students pair with a city to co-create strategies for better environmental, economic and social balance in the places we live. Students from multiple disciplines research challenging issues chosen by the city and propose innovative sustainability solutions that enable the city to make progress toward a better future.
Project Cities in action
Project Cities connects ASU faculty and students with a city to co-create innovative strategies for better, more livable communities.
How do cities get involved?
Cities apply to become a Project Cities partner through an annual Request for Proposal (RFP) process. The RFP opens in the fall, but cities are encouraged to reach out to Project Cities staff early; we are happy to provide guidance and recommendations on crafting a strong proposal for your community.
The city of Apache Junction was extremely fortunate to be the inaugural city for the Project Cities program. The city, community residents, ASU students, faculty and staff worked on a total of nine different projects. All of the projects and studies paid high dividends to the community. Two projects especially stand out. The off- leash dog park analysis led the city to formalize plans, hire a design firm with expected construction in early 2020. The solid waste and recycling project which was done over several years and classes directed the city to a more sustainable method of solid waste and recycling collection and disposal. The city is moving forward with awarding a contract to a single hauler based on the RFP and Ordinance amendments that ASU students assisted the city in drafting. The city can’t say enough positive things about the Project Cities program and how it will continue to work in cities and towns all across Arizona. The communities and students are the beneficiaries of this visionary program!
– Bryant Powell, City Manager, City of Apache Junction
Project Cities has been a wonderful partner for the City of Glendale! Through working with ASU faculty and students, we have found great support and new ideas as we prepare for a more sustainable future. Through this innovative partnership, students have assisted staff on a diverse range of topics, including developing a new social media management plan, identifying strategies for improving community engagement with Glendale’s diverse residents, and generating benchmarks and best practices as our recycling program adapts to a changing market. Project Cities provides a great opportunity to continue strengthening our ongoing partnership with ASU, through a thoughtfully-curated approach to university-community collaboration. Sustainability is an important component for Glendale’s strategic focus on the future, making this partnership a win-win for us.
– Amanda McKeever, Administrator, Department Support Services, City of Glendale, Community Liaison for ASU Project Cities
About the project
The City of Apache Junction (the City) has over one hundred mobile home and recreational vehicle parks and subdivisions within its city limits. Many of these parks were built in the 1950s, before the city was officially incorporated, and thus pre-date city code. As a result, many of the parks are now relatively...
On February 5th, 2020 ASU students, faculty, and city staff met at Peoria City Hall for the spring 2020 kickoff event with Project Cities. In the Council Chambers, Erick Strunk, Deputy City Manager, opened the occasion with a warm welcome and stressed the great value the students’ work promises to bring the city. Jay Davies,...
Early Friday morning on January 31, 2020, 17 sleepy masters students in PUP 580: Planning Workshop, disembarked from a large gray charter bus to Clarkdale, Arizona. After two hours on the road, the ASU students, with their professors Meagan Ehlenz and Kim Kanuho, headed into the Old Memorial Clubhouse to meet with town leadership for...
Project Cities is a member of the Educational Partnerships for Innovation in Communities Network (EPIC-N), a national network of over 30 educational institutions partnering with cities throughout the United States and world.