Student recommendations inform Sustainable Peoria Plan

The City of Peoria recently approved its Sustainable Peoria Plan, a roadmap for sustainability that outlines goals and initiatives around its eight pillars of sustainability. 

In 2009, the City established its first Sustainability Action Plan, which was then revised and relaunched in 2012 as the Sustainability Action Plan 2.0. Following an extensive review and publication of Peoria’s Peoria 2040 General Plan, the Water Conservation and Sustainability Division began the process of developing its new Sustainability Peoria Plan, which would include community input. As part of this process, the City of Peoria enlisted the help of ASU Project Cities to facilitate four projects with students from the School of Sustainability and School of Public Affairs that would inform the City’s sustainability planning efforts and provide the foundation for its community input process

“This is stuff that trying to do on my own would be quite a struggle, but being able to utilize the resources at ASU and Project Cities, we were able to cast a wider net. It was just a really great resource, and an interesting learning curve for some of the students as well.”

Victoria Caster, Sustainability and Water Conservation Coordinator, City of Peoria

SOS 321 students meet with Peoria staff at the semester kickoff event, Spring 2020

Community plan review

In Spring 2020, 40 undergraduate students from Dr. Candice Carr Kelman’s SOS 321 Policy and Governance in Sustainable Systems course reviewed community sustainability plans from 22 municipalities. Students were split into groups based on sections of the sustainability plan, including Community Building, Education and Outreach, Transportation, Recycling and Waste Reduction, Water Resources, Municipal Facilities and Energy, and Management Practices. Based on the review, students compiled recommendations for Peoria to consider as they prepared for the Sustainability Action Plan revisions. 

Check out the final summary report | Sustainability Plan Review

Sustainability outreach and input analysis

As the City prepared for its community outreach component of the sustainability plan, four graduate students from the Master of Sustainability Leadership (MSL) program were led by Dr. Shirley Ann Behravesh and Dr. Stephanie Pfirman to develop strategies for a public outreach program to gather input from Peoria residents about the sustainability plan. Students helped coordinate a series of town hall meetings with Peoria residents, and distributed a survey to residents that received over 760 responses. Based on the town halls and surveys, students recommended developing key performance indicators (KPIs) to measure the City’s progress toward its sustainability goals.

Check out the final summary report | Sustainability Planning: Funding Strategies and Input Analysis

Master of Sustainability Leadership graduate, Lennessa Nelson, presents project findings at the end-of-semester showcase, Spring 2021

Funding strategies for waste management and water services

Two graduate students from Malcolm Goggin and LaDawn Lingard’s Public Affairs Capstone course researched funding opportunities related to water and waste management to recommend strategies for the City’s sustainability planning efforts. The two students recommended a variety of community grants and identified opportunities with other municipalities for combined sustainability efforts. 

Check out the final summary report | Sustainability Planning: Funding Strategies and Input Analysis

Master of Public Affairs graduate, Sarah Purdy, presents project findings at the end-of-semester showcase, Spring 2021

Future of sustainability in Peoria

The passage of the Sustainable Peoria Plan signals an important commitment to sustainability in the City of Peoria. The new plan sets a foundation for cultivating an economically sustainable and environmentally responsible community for present and future generations. 

Project Cities is a member of the Educational Partnerships for Innovation in Communities Network (EPIC-N) and is administered by ASU’s Julie Ann Wrigley Global Futures Laboratory and the Sustainable Cities Network. Stay up to date with Project Cities and the Sustainable Cities Network by following us on social media or subscribing to our newsletter