June 2, 2010
in Announcements, Education, Press, UofOregon
City and UO faculty and students will work collaboratively in year-long effort
EUGENE, Ore. -- (May 25, 2010) â€“ The University of Oregonâ€™s Sustainable Cities Initiative program has selected Salem as its focus city for the 2010-11 academic year. Following a successful inaugural year in Gresham, Ore., UO faculty and students will work collaboratively with Salem, Oregonâ€™s capital city, to tackle important development, planning and civic engagement issues.
"We are honored that the University of Oregon selected Salem to participate in this unique program that matches professors and students in a number of disciplines with real-world community projects,â€ said Salem City Manager Linda Norris.Â â€œThe City's participation in the program allows us to address several City Council goals and leverage existing limited resources to move projects forward much faster than would otherwise be possible.Â As a result of this work, we will have well-researched designs and plans to present to the community and the City Council.Â We think this program is a great model for encouraging additional future collaboration between Oregon universities and Oregon cities.â€
More than 25 courses, 25 faculty members and approximately 600 students will focus on Salem projects during the 2010-11 academic year. The UO anticipates selecting one city each year to be the focus of sustainable design and planning courses as part of its Sustainable Cities Initiative. The Salem City Council, Salem Housing Authority Commission and Salemâ€™s Urban Renewal Agency Board approved participation in the program on May 24.
â€œThe Sustainable Cities Initiative is an ambitious interdisciplinary undertaking, â€œsaid Frances Bronet, dean of the UO School of Architecture and Allied Arts. â€œIt is unique in its approach to focus on a single city and bring collective expertise and strengths of faculty and students from multiple areas of campus together. The common goal of making a place better through collaboration embodies how higher education institutions contribute and serve the public interest.â€
Sustainable Cities Initiative (SCI) is shaping the future academic priorities at the UO as a result of a campus-wide discussion and selection process. Started at the UO School of Architecture and Allied Arts, SCI now extends across disciplines into other schools and colleges on campus. The goal is to promote research, education, service and public outreach related to the development of sustainable cities.
The 2009-2010 academic year partner was the city of Gresham, where nearly 100,000 hours of student work was applied to projects throughout the city. Starting with only six courses, the SCI course listing expanded to 21 by the end of the school year, across five academic departments. The completed work will contribute to future planning for Gresham.
To select the 2010-2011 city, SCI co-directors Nico Larco, Marc Schlossberg and Robert Young invited Oregon cities with more than 15,000 residents to apply and submit project proposals. Proposals were submitted by five cities: Beaverton, Eugene, Klamath Falls, Salem and Springfield. Salem was selected as the top finalist by a review committee of university faculty.
Salem is the center of a strong agricultural sector; home to sustainable industries like SANYO Solar of Oregon, Kettle Foods, Sequential Bio Fuels, AgriPlas and Truitt Brothers; stable government employment as the state and county seat; large private employers including Garmin Industries, Salem Hospital and the recently announced Home Depot Rapid Deployment Center. Local educational institutions â€” including Chemeketa Community College Center for Business and Industry, Willamette University and Western Oregon University â€”Â provide undergraduate and graduate programs and workforce training, and contribute to cultural events and art that enrich the community.Â Salem's vibrant, historic downtownÂ has several parks within walking distance, and a wide array of restaurants, hotels and tourist attractions.
Salem projects will apply study from architecture, interior architecture, landscape architecture, arts and administration, planning, public policy and management, law, business management and journalism. Projects were selected because they accelerate positive direction for Salem, fit within curriculum, and will result in fully researched and designed options for the City Council to move Salem forward at the right time. Projects will include:
- A critical look at areas immediately adjacent to Salemâ€™s vibrant downtown, to result in development and redevelopment scenarios to make better use of the Riverfront;
- New police facility planning and civic center redesign scenarios to improve public service, utilizing the existing building;
- A civic engagement strategy to expand communication, representation and participation in decision making with use of new technology and other materials;
- A plan to connect Salemâ€™s downtown parks with urban trails and bike routes;
- A restoration plan for natural areas at the large Minto-Brown Island urban park;
- A development plan for the Salem Housing Authority Orchard Village site;
- Market analysis to include supply chain and business cluster studies.
Courses will begin Fall 2010. For more information, visit http://sci.uoregon.edu/
About the University of Oregon
The University of Oregon is a world-class teaching and research institution and Oregon's flagship public university. The UO is a member of the Association of American Universities (AAU), an organization made up of the 63 leading public and private research institutions in the United States and Canada. The University of Oregon is one of only two AAU members in the Pacific Northwest.
Julie Brown, UO media relations, 541-346-3185, email@example.com
; Nicole Wahlberg, City of Salem Urban Development public information, 503-588-6178, ext. 7552, firstname.lastname@example.org
UO Sustainable Cities Initiative, http://sci.uoregon.edu/
; City of Salem, http://www.cityofsalem.net/