ASU Project Cities announces 2019-2020 community partner

ASU Project Cities is proud to announce our 2019-2020 Community Partner: The City of Peoria! Peoria AZ logoPeoria is home to more than 171,000 residents and was ranked the number one place to live in Arizona by Money Magazine. With numerous recreational attractions, the city is well known as a family-oriented, active community with an exceptional quality of life. 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. “This is a pivotal moment in time where the opportunity to innovate and advance sustainability in our communities is no longer a ‘nice to have’ but a ‘must have,’” said Peoria Mayor Cathy Carlat in a letter of support for the program. “It is because of this that the City of Peoria fully recognizes that solving some of our most pressing challenges cannot be accomplished solely on our own, but rather through solid world-renowned partners such as Arizona State University.” The City of Peoria submitted an exciting array of projects, including a water shortage response plan, a community-wide placemaking survey, and an investigation into Smart City technologies — just to name a few. Six communities expressed interest in joining Project Cities for the 2019-2020 program cycle, and four submitted a complete application. After a rigorous assessment of the applications received, three finalists were advanced, and two were selected for projects in the coming cycle. Advancing the Project Cities model with the Town of Clarkdale We are also proud to announce a new development in the Project Cities model. The program, which has traditionally worked with a single community at a time, has decided to pilot an enhanced form of the model, which includes an additional project with the Town of Clarkdale. Clarkdale is a beautiful, historic, rural community of just over 4,000 residents in Northern Arizona. The town boasts numerous outdoor recreational destinations, a diverse business community and a rich history as a former mining town. Many of the original buildings from the early 1900s are still in place, and the town is listed as a Historical District on the National Register of Historic Places. For this pilot project with the Town of Clarkdale, Project Cities will dispatch scores of students to conduct research and develop recommendations for the town’s Central Business District Revitalization Plan. “We are enthralled at the opportunity to expand our model to work with two communities in the 2019-2020 academic year,” said Anne Reichman, director of the Sustainable Cities Network and Project Cities at the Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability. “This is a great opportunity to highlight the important work that cities like Peoria and Clarkdale do to incorporate sustainability and make our communities better places to live.” Let’s get to it! Work with both communities will commence in August 2019. Project Cities staff are already working to line up matches with ASU faculty and students across the university, for what promises to be our most multi-disciplinary and multi-faceted program cycle yet! If you would like to learn more about the program or discover how you can get involved, please contact [email protected].