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.
Students engage in innovative and practical solutions with local communities, advancing both communities’ sustainability goals and students’ career paths.
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. Below are the project 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
The Project Cities/EPIC-N Model
At its core, Project Cities is a matching service that leverages ASU resources to curate applied projects with local municipalities. Staff collects project proposals from municipal partners then matches those topics with faculty subject matter experts and students eager to address these municipal sustainability challenges.
Project Cities staff support project logistics, communication and event planning as needed, then step back to let the students and faculty get to work, researching innovative solutions to the challenges identified by the city.
First steps for cities
A Request for Proposal (RFP) is opened annually to cities, towns, and other municipal entities interested in the Project Cities program.
Proposals should identify important potential projects and desired outcomes. 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 community is selected and a memorandum of understanding is signed, individual project scopes of work are negotiated and students, under the guidance of experienced faculty, execute the projects for the Community Partner.
After RFP responses are gathered, a review team determines which city has a mix of projects that best match with available ASU courses and resources. Upper-level city management and a financial commitment are required for consideration.