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Project Cities Program Information

Mission

The mission of Project Cities is to assist cities with the advancement of sustainability initiatives by connecting students, faculty and academic courses to sustainability projects prioritized by community stakeholders.

Vision

Students engage in innovative and practical solutions with local communities, advancing both communities’ sustainability goals and students’ career paths.

Goals

  • Create long-term, mutually-beneficial partnerships between ASU and local communities
  • Leverage ASU’s knowledge base, faculty and student body to improve the quality of life in communities
  • Engage students in hands-on learning projects with communities that prepare them for future careers
  • Facilitate cross-disciplinary research and project opportunities for ASU scientists and scholars

Projects Cities is a collaborative effort, helping cities explore and apply sustainability with ASU students who are learning the field’s principles. A city will partner with the program for at least one year to identify projects that can be used as sustainability learning experiences for students. City stakeholders, students and ASU faculty co-create ideas, options and strategies that point to a more balanced social, ecological and economic future.

First Steps for Cities

A Request for Proposal (RFP) is circulated annually to cities interested in the Project Cities program. Proposals should identify important potential projects and desired outcomes. Cities are encouraged to include partnerships or collaborations with other entities – including school districts, non-profits, business associations, private funders and research institutions – in their proposals. After RFP responses are gathered, a review team determines which city has a mix of projects that best match current ASU courses and resources. Upper-level city management and a financial commitment are required for consideration.

After a partner city is selected and a memorandum of understanding is signed, the Interaction Process proceeds as shown in the diagram.

Project Cities coordinates a meeting with city staff and ASU faculty interested in the city’s proposed project list. Modifications to project scope, scale and schedule will be negotiated between the three parties to ensure academic course work aligns with the partner city’s projects, and vice versa.

Following scope and scale negotiations, agreements for each academic course are noted in writing as a guide for the project work and timing. With faculty guidance and oversight, students execute the agreed-upon scope of work alongside the city partner.

City staff provide input and feedback on student work products until their assigned students have produced a satisfactory portfolio of deliverables. Deliverables may include designs, reports, budgets, oral presentations and/or other agreed-upon items. Project Cities’ staff then edit and format work products from all the courses associated with the partner to ensure a high-quality deliverable.

To be added to the RFP notification email list, email projectcities@asu.edu