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City of Peoria 
Partner Community 
2019-20

City of Peoria
Partner Community
2019-20

City of Peoria
Partner Community
2019-20

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City of Peoria

Two people in Kayaks on Lake Pleasant

Ranked as the No. 1 place to live in Arizona by Money Magazine and the only Arizona city named as one of the best cities in the U.S. by Yahoo! Finance, the city of Peoria is currently home to more than 171,000 residents. The city enjoys a reputation as a family-oriented, active community with an exceptional quality of life. Peoria entertainment and recreational amenities include popular attractions such as Lake Pleasant, a large network of trails and open space, community parks, recreation centers, community theater, libraries, pools, and the spring training home for the San Diego Padres and the Seattle Mariners.

The city has demonstrated a strong commitment to sustainability, as evidenced by its directive to incorporate LEED building design standards, a council-adopted Sustainability Action Plan, and a dedicated full-time staff person to manage and coordinate organization-wide sustainability initiatives.

View Peoria’s Community Profile to learn more about its demographics, history, and sustainability initiatives.

City of Peoria Projects

Water Conservation and Shortage Response Plan

If the current, severe drought continues, the Central Arizona Project’s (CAP) water deliveries will be negatively impacted, affecting not only Peoria, but peer communities as well. To address this challenge, the City of Peoria is exploring strategies to increase water conservation behaviors among their residents, and, developing shortage response plans, should conservation fail. The City is thus seeking ASU assistance to develop conservation strategies and communication plans around elements such as: regional and local cooperation, possible water cutbacks, scenario planning, and other recommended strategies.

Peoria thus seeks to evaluate its existing communication strategies and messaging around water scarcity and conservation, in order to develop research-backed recommendations and sample messaging. For next steps, students will work with faculty to compile technical recommendations around water conservation strategies, and to identify appropriate trigger points for a multi-stage plan for implementation.

  • COM 414/ CMN 598: Crisis Communication with Majia Nadesan, Fall 2019
    Students learned theoretical and professional perspectives of crisis communications, which were then applied to develop sample messaging and visualizations for the City of Peoria.
  • ERM 598: Water Resource Management with Larry Olson, Spring 2020
    Students in a professional certificate program apply technical knowledge and industry expertise to develop guiding strategies for proactive water conservation measures, and shortage response plans, if needed.
  • STC 593: Applied project with Capstone Student, Denise and Majia Nadesan, Spring 2020
    Graduate student, Denise, carries the Fall ‘19 crisis communication class’ work forward to next level by conducting targeted focus group studies of Peoria residents, in order to assess the effectiveness of the messaging campaigns developed by her peers and identify the strongest strategies.
View fall 2019 student content
View fall 2019 summary report

Community Placemaking Study

Peoria has been ranked as the Number 1 place to live in Arizona by Money Magazine and is the only city in state named as one of the best cities in the U.S. by Yahoo! Finance. The city thus enjoys a reputation for being family-oriented, active community with an exceptional quality of life. The practice of placemaking interventions driven by local governments, is coming into vogue among municipal planning circles as a variety of forms of engagement with the community, which contributes to a “sense of place.”

Continuing with this reputation, the city is seeks student support in identifying the placemaking activities and interventions that would be most valued by the community, through the administration of a public opinion survey and analysis.

  • JUS 305: Principles of Justice Studies with Gregory Broberg, Fall 2019
    Students developed and conducted a multi-layer study which sought to identify residents’ views on placemaking and characteristics thereof in three targeted character areas: “Old Town” Peoria, the “P83” District, and the “Four Corners” area. Under faculty and community guidance, students conducted a wide-reaching survey of Peoria residents.
View fall 2019 student content
View fall 2019 summary report

Transit Circulator Best Practices Study

The City of Peoria recently launched its first transit circulator, the “Peoria on the Go” (POGO) bus. This city-run bus service, which is available for free to residents and visitors, connects neighborhoods with local services, activity centers, specific character areas, and the larger metropolitan Phoenix transit system. Peoria is interested in learning from other communities’ successes and failures in transit circulators, to better understand attributes of successful route planning, roll-out, route adjustments, ridership, stop locations, ideal target destinations, and how effectively the city is serving its residents.

  • CPP 201: Community Impact Lab with Bailey Borman, Fall 2019
    Students used the human-centered problem-solving method known as “Design Thinking” to develop potential solutions to the observed under-utilization of the Peoria POGO circulator by young people (12 – 18 years old).
  • PUP 598: Transportation Planning with David King, Spring 2020
    Urban planning masters students conduct a benchmarking study of peer communities to identify best practices in managing transit circulator programs locally and globally. Students also evaluate first-mile/last-mile conditions for Peoria’s transit circulator users to identify issues and provide strategic recommendations to remedy any potential gaps.
View fall 2019 student content
View fall 2019 summary report

Smart City Technology and Innovation Feasibility Study

The City of Peoria seeks to better understand what being a “Smart City” means for their community and how they can play an important role in this regional effort. In particular, the city is interested in learning about the opportunities it has for advanced technologies that increase efficiency and quality of services for the future. This project aims to provide clarity to the Smart City concept that is gaining momentum both on the regional and global scale. By engaging in this project, city leaders position themselves to elevate and advance Peoria’s standing in Smart City innovation and technology, while continuing to advance a sustainable, resilient, and healthy community.

  • SOS 498: Urban Sustainability Best Practices Applications with Nalini Chhetri, Fall 2019 AND

    BUS 593/SEC 598/FSE 598/SOS 594: Interdisciplinary Applied Learning Lab with Mike Wiles and Pat Phelan, Fall 2019

    Students in two classes developed an improved understanding of the Smart City concept, specifically as it pertains to public-private partnerships and the role of local governments. This included developing a guiding strategy for Peoria’s approach to Smart City technology by conducting an ecosystem assessment of the current and potential future state of this in the city, along with compiling an inventory of these technologies that could be of interest to specific departments within the city.
Fall 2019 summary report – COMING SOON!
View fall 2019 student content

Skunk Creek Recreation Corridor Plan

The Skunk Creek corridor is a natural wildlife area in the City of Peoria that includes a mixed-use trail system following along a creek bed. This area is an example of one of many options the city presents to its residents to engage in active outdoors experiences. This project aims to create a recreation-focused design concept for the activation of the corridor, as defined, inclusive of the creek channel, flood plain, overpass bridges, as well as the channel banks.

While working on this project, students will design initial design concepts that are feasible and implementable that also tie into Peoria’s history, culture, and sense of “place”. This includes conducting background research on the area and the community in order to establish foundational concepts to guide future development in the corridor, as well as interviewing community stakeholders, conducting a literature review, and researching existing or past site plans.

  • FSE 104/404: EPICS GOLD with Joshua Loughman, Fall 2019
    Students conducted an initial assessment of potential activation opportunities for the Skunk Creek corridor, with an eye toward both passive and active recreation opportunities. Students provided tiered recommendations for the city in an attempt to help prioritize high-impact investments to benefit members of the surrounding community.
  • FSE 104/404: EPICS GOLD with Joshua Loughman, Spring 2020
    Students carry forward the work of the past semesters’ through a detailed feasibility assessment and refinement of the ideas proposed. Students will asses considerations and potential barriers such as right-of-way, grade, ADA compliance, code issues, and property ownership.
View fall 2019 student content
View fall 2019 summary report

Sustainability Plan Review

Municipal governments nationwide are stepping up to take leadership in sustainability planning. By setting ambitious but attainable goals, then mobilizing department leadership to attain them, cities and towns have found significant potential to transition communities to a more sustainable future. Municipal agencies administer many functions of their residents’ daily lives, giving them the potential to enact significant changes at scale.

This all starts with the municipal sustainability plan, a common document among cities and towns that identifies targets and actions for agencies to enact, in order to reach the shared goal of a sustainable future. Peoria is currently acting on the goals and practices laid out in their second sustainability action plan. The plan, titled Sustainability Action Plan 2.0: Renewing our Commitment to Peoria’s Future, is thorough and appropriately ambitious, but there is always room to improve. To assist for future planning efforts, ASU students will break the plan down section-by-section to assess how Peoria’s goals and best practices compare to their contemporaries through a global benchmarking study, then report back with recommendations to improve.

  • SOS 321: Policy and Governance for Sustainable Systems with Candace Carr Kelman, Spring 2020 Students will analyze and compare Peoria’s Sustainability Action Plan to other plans across the United States in a comprehensive benchmarking study and develop recommendations to further strengthen the City’s sustainability plan.

Peoria in the news

| Peoria Times, June 27, 2019 | The city of Peoria formally approves Project Cities’ partnership for 2019-2020 school year

| Your Valley, June 26, 2019 | Peoria looks forward to new ideas and innovative approaches from ASU Project Cities student

| The Foothills Focus, February 14, 2019 | Project Cities students plan work on several sustainability projects with Peoria this academic year

| The State Press, February 11, 2019 | Project Cities recognizes past and current community partners, while also looking forward to new partnerships for 2019-20 academic year