The UO’s Sustainable City Year Program (SCYP) will be continuing next fall with follow-up work on various projects under way in Springfield, Salem and possibly Gresham. The combination will fund the program for another year, says Robert Liberty, executive director of the Sustainable Cities Initiative that oversees the SCYP. This will be the first year the program has not had a single city focus.
The SCYP is a unique town-and-gown collaboration linking city government projects around Oregon with the expertise and work of hundreds of UO students and professors, along with architects and other professionals in the community (see EW cover story, Feb. 2). Cities get a boost in their efforts to become more efficient and sustainable, and students benefit from hands-on, practical experience.
Springfield’s initial SCYP is wrapping up this spring and a celebration is planned from 4:30 to 6:30 pm Friday, May 18, at the Royal Caribbean International Call Center in Springfield. UO students, faculty, Springfield government officials and community partners will gather to review the work of 500 students who participated in 10 disciplines: planning, public policy, business, law, economics, journalism, sustainability, architecture, landscape architecture, and arts and administration. Springfield’s SCY program consisted of 31 classes and 60,000 hours of creative work focused on making Springfield a more sustainable city.
The program is evolving and might even draw in OSU’s Department of Horticulture next year, says Liberty. But the SCYP is an ambitious program and it takes about $250,000 a year in funding from cities or counties to keep it going. “We are pursuing addition sources of funding, but nothing has been nailed down yet,” says Liberty.
Eugene applied for the program several years ago, but did not reapply this year, citing the high cost and the city’s existing sustainability programs.