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Project Cities acts as mutually beneficial partnership that engages arts students

Project Cities SCN News

September 26, 2018

Project Cities acts as mutually beneficial partnership that engages arts studentsWorking for the benefit of our community is central to the mission of Arizona State University, but it’s actually a pretty radical idea, according to a professor who teaches students how to do it.

One of ASU’s eight design aspirations is “social embeddedness,” defined as: ASU connects with communities through mutually beneficial partnerships.

In the past few decades, the concept of “community engagement” has moved into academia and arts, said Michael Rohd, an Institute Professor at the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts.

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ASU students perform 'Positively Ghostly' scenes in Apache Junction

School of Sustainability News Project Cities

June 5, 2018

Two ASU students act out a scene for "Positively Ghostly" performanceIn the city of Apache Junction, at the foothills of the Superstition Mountains, graduate students from Arizona State University performed a series of theatrical scenes related to the city’s history. This event, called “Positively Ghostly,” brought to life tales of ghosts and lost treasures gathered from local residents, and illustrated the Old West history ingrained in the city. These performances allowed residents to connect with local legends and landscapes while reflecting on the value that their city brings to Arizona.

“Positively Ghostly” was a collaboration between the city of Apache Junction, ASU School of Sustainability students involved in Project Cities, and ASU Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts students. The event was part of a wider tourism project called “Positively Apache Junction” led by Project Cities, a university-community initiative within ASU's Sustainable Cities Network.

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ASU Project Cities hosts Spring Showcase April 25 to highlight student-driven solutions

Project Cities SCN News

April 19, 2018

Team of students presents their findings

In the ASU Wrigley Institute's Project Cities program, students in departments across ASU - including public service, urban planning, theater, history, and sustainability - have been diligently crafting solutions for Apache Junction's most pressing environmental and social challenges. See their hard work presented to the City of Apache Junction at this semester's Project Cities Student Showcase.

Project Cities is an interdisciplinary partnership between local cities and the university. It pairs teams of students in ASU courses with challenges presented by cities to create innovative solutions for cities and promote academic and professional development among students.

The showcase will take place on Wednesday, April 25th, 2018, on the ASU Tempe campus in the Memorial Union, Room 207. It will last from 12:30pm to 3:30pm, with a poster discussion continuing afterwards. Light refreshments will be served.

Please RSVP here.

Project Cities research asks East Valley residents to help create cultural map of the land

ASU Wrigley Institute News Project Cities SCN News

April 19, 2018

Landscape photo of Superstition Wilderness with saguaro

Think of a local spot you love to visit in your city. Is it a city park? A trailhead? A brewery or theater? If you live in the East Valley of the Phoenix area - or visit the East Valley or the Superstition Wilderness Area frequently - digital history students in an ASU Project Cities course project want to hear your answers.

The students are conducting a survey designed to identify the most important cultural landmarks of the East Valley – specifically, the Apache Junction area. The survey will inform the students’ suggestions for the City of Apache Junction to help improve geographical and cultural awareness and pride in the city.

This course project is one part of the Project Cities program’s year-long partnership with the City of Apache Junction. The partnership empowers ASU students to address the city’s environmental and social challenges through various course projects across multiple disciplines.

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Celebrating local history and sustainability (ghosts and all) at free performance in Apache Junction

Project Cities SCN News

April 11, 2018

smiling students collaborating in a circle

In the city of Apache Junction, just east of Phoenix, sharing ghost stories and advancing local social sustainability are complementary activities, according to a class of graduate students from ASU's School of Film, Dance and Theater.

In a course project coordinated by the ASU Wrigley Institute’s Project Cities program this semester, the students partnered with the City of Apache Junction to develop innovative ways to enrich the community’s historical awareness and strengthen the city’s brand. To do the trick, they’re leveraging the city’s rich Wild West history, complete with ghostly and superstitious tales.

The students have culminated their hard work in a performance titled “Positively Ghostly”, taking place on April 15th in Apache Junction. The students will reenact haunted tales both remembered and forgotten that are woven into Apache Junction’s history. The performance is free and open to all ages. It will take place from 6:00-7:30 p.m. at Flatiron Park (100 North Apache Trail). Free cookies will be served at 7:30 p.m.

ASU’s Project Cities wraps up a successful first semester

ASU Wrigley Institute News Project Cities

December 6, 2017

first semester-end project showcaseASU Project Cities held its first semester-end project showcase with the city of Apache Junction at the university's Memorial Union on November 29, 2017.

Professors and students from multiple campuses presented on the findings of seven courses, during which extensive time was spent researching and creating recommendations for the city that straddles Maricopa and Pinal counties. Roughly 150 people attended the showcase, including members of the Apache Junction government and community, ASU faculty, and graduate and undergraduate students.

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SCN Kicks Off Project Cities at Apache Junction

ASU Wrigley Institute News Project Cities

October 2, 2017

Students arrive for the Project Cities Kick-Off Event
Students arrive for the Project Cities Kick-Off Event

On August 30, 2017, over 130 ASU students and faculty from multiple disciplines filed into the Apache Junction Multi-Generational Center.

The draw? A kick-off event marking a partnership between ASU’s Project Cities program and the City of Apache Junction – one that plugs students into projects that make Apache Junction a better place to live.

Not only did students get to hear more about these projects from Project Cities and Apache Junction staff, the kick-off event included networking with the Apache Junction mayor, city council, board commissioners and staff – not to mention a bus tour of the city. Breakout sessions allowed students to ask city project leaders questions, learn about community history and brainstorm possible solutions to local challenges.

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Apache Junction becomes inaugural partner of ASU’s Project Cities

ASU Wrigley Institute News Project Cities

August 29, 2017

View of desert community at the foot of large rocky mountains

Nestled at the foot of the Superstition Mountains, Apache Junction is strategically positioned as the eastern gateway into the Greater Phoenix metro area and the western entry to the Tonto National Forest’s recreation venues. This geography, coupled with a western atmosphere, make the city appealing to residents and visitors alike.

Along with its many attractive qualities, the city of Apache Junction – like most communities – faces unique sustainability challenges as it continues to grow. It is these challenges that form the basis of a partnership with Arizona State University’s Project Cities program.

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Pairing sustainability knowledge with implementation know-how

Board Letter ASU Wrigley Institute News Project Cities

June 6, 2017

Project Cities AnnouncementPicture the main streets of your city shielded by solar panels – would that make a summer outing downtown more comfortable? How about vertical farms on former brownfield sites down the street from your home – wouldn't such easy access to fresh food be nice?

Arizona State University’s Project Cities thinks so too.

That’s why the new program, part of ASU’s Sustainable Cities Network (SCN), is working with municipalities to implement environmentally-conscious projects that make life better for people and businesses alike.

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