Partnership takes on sustainability


Last updated 9/20/2022 at Noon

The Sustainable City Year Program (SCYP) is an innovative university-community partnership program founded at the University of Oregon in 2009. In this unique model, existing courses, faculty, and students from across campus are purposefully directed toward a single Oregon community for an academic year to address issues identified by the city.

According to information from the program, SCYP is more than just students working on a project for a class. It is creating Oregon’s future workforce, developing a connection with local government and Oregon communities, and generating creative, out-of-the-box ideas by high-achieving students and faculty experts.

SCYP is a collaboration of faculty and students from multiple academic disciplines, including architecture, landscape architecture, business, journalism, public policy and management, law, and others.

The benefits for the City participating include increased capacity, expanded conversations, innovation, broad outreach, energy, political space, and creativity beyond what would be possible in nine months just utilizing staff. It also involves a much smaller price tag than contracting with an established consulting firm.

Traditionally, large communities have benefitted from 20 to 30 projects at a cost of $250,000 to $350,000 over the year-long partnership. However, SCYP recognized that smaller communities have needs but fewer resources, and in 2018, SCYP began scaling its model to work across a range of geographies and contexts, with a focus on smaller Oregon cities. Past small city partners have included La Pine (2018 pilot), Silverton, Dunes City (special project), Hood River (special project), Troutdale, and Hermiston. Smaller city partnerships typically cost $75,000 to $120,000.

Past projects have been directed toward affordable housing, environmental sustainability and resiliency, economic development, tourism promotion, transportation and infrastructure, quality of life and city livability, and community involvement and information.

All the SCYP projects in Sisters will align with one or more FY 2022-23 Council goals.


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