Spring 2019
SCYP and Urbanism Next Collaborate
on New Mobility
The new mobility modes of transportation – ridehailing, scooters, and autonomous vehicles – are likely to cause big disruptions in the form, function, economics, place-making, and mobility of our cities. This is why it is a key SCI focus area as we work to understand these shifts and advise decision makers on best courses of action. These changes are also causing interesting – and positive! - disruptions within SCI, bringing together our two primary programs, the Sustainable City Year Program and Urbanism Next. The programs worked jointly in classroom and community-based efforts to help the Oregon cities of Gresham and Eugene figure out the range of ways these transportation technologies may create opportunities and risks and how to act to maximize the good and minimize the bad.

Several SCYP courses focused directly on the impact of new mobility technology on cities, from the impacts to municipal revenue to street design to land use changes as forecasted declines in vehicle volumes and parking respond to transition to electric vehicle fleets and expanded utilization of space-efficient, low-carbon, personal modes like scooters. Meanwhile, Urbanism Next staff facilitated workshops directly with city staff and community stakeholders to explore topics that often sound futuristic but are already having tangible impacts in communities of all types across the country. By tapping our applied learning framework and our faculty and staff expertise, SCI was able to leverage its own internal programs for even more value to or external partners. Because of the emergent nature of new mobility, the discoveries made through these partnerships can also help other cities throughout Oregon and beyond prepare for the influx of new modes of transportation and strategically plan to ensure positive outcomes.

We’re excited to continue building on the benefits of a joint SCYP-Urbanism Next approach to better serve Oregon’s communities in the years to come and to demonstrate the international opportunities to tap the insight, energy, and societal standing of universities to offer direct assistance to communities to help meet their important and pressing environmental, social, and economic challenges.
Urbanism Next Conference Highlights
The second National Urbanism Next conference took place in Portland in early May, bringing together over 500 people. Like last year, the conference was well attended by individuals spanning public, private, nonprofit, and academic sectors, but this year also saw a major influx of international attendees. Participants came from Canada, the Netherlands, Australia, Austria, Iceland, Turkey, Lebanon, and more.

This year’s conversations focused on the challenges of data sharing, private versus public approaches to managing mobility, and new mobility offerings – e-scooters and other forms of micromobility were major topics of conversation.

The Urbanism Next data and information clearinghouse, The NEXUS, is currently in development with a planned launch coming this Fall. The need for this type of a resource is being recognized by the US Congress. At this year’s Urbanism Next Conference, US Congressman Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) announced via video the introduction of the Preparing Localities for an Autonomous and Connected Environment (PLACE) Act, H.R. 2542, which is intended to authorize grants for such a clearinghouse at an institution of higher education. Learn more about the bill on Congressman Blumenauer’s website .

For more key takeaways from this year’s conference check out the Urbanism Next blog .
SCYP and LTD Gearing up for a Great Partnership
Spring term marked the start of our matchmaking efforts between the University of Oregon and Lane Transit District. Using a speed networking format, we hosted a great event that brought many staff from LTD and their community partners to campus to engage with faculty instructors from a number of academic departments. Within a short amount of time, established project ideas began to get matched with classes and new ideas and matches also began to emerge. Plus, the event was fun and a great way to build campus-community relationships that will help yield great projects and outputs over this next year.

In addition to LTD, partner organizations PeaceHealth Rides, the cities of Creswell and Cottage Grove, and the Lane Council of Governments were present. Faculty from city planning, public administration, nonprofit management, journalism, business, law, product design, geography, and more were there to find optimal ways to match courses they will be teaching next year to agency- and community-identified goals and interests. Many matches were either made or significantly advanced from this event including projects and courses that will focus on mobility hub planning, project evaluation, environmental justice, bus stop redesign, scenario planning, multi-modal transportation planning and design, and more.

We anticipate 20-25 different courses from at least eight academic disciplines to be engaged in the yearlong partnership. And with our partner also being in our backyard, we look forward to many rides on our local bus rapid transit and bikeshare systems as students and faculty make site visits to LTD headquarters and project sites around the community.
SCI China Welcomes Scholars from the China Railway Eryuan Engineering Group (CREEC) in Chengdu
This year the SCI China Visiting Scholars Program welcomed six new visiting scholars from China. These new visiting scholars are from the China Railway Eryuan Engineering Group Co. LTD (CREEC). They are professional planners and designers specialized in rail transit planning, highway planning and road design, transit-oriented development, and ecological restoration. These visiting scholars will spend nine months in the US learning, researching, and engaging US transportation professionals in information sharing and experience exchange.
The visiting scholars have sat in on classes on the UO campus, observed public hearings in the city of Springfield, taken a bike tour of downtown Eugene, and visited projects in Portland. They will continue their learning in Oregon and around the US and will attend conferences and workshops organized by professional organizations such as the Oregon Institute of Transportation Engineer and with transportation agencies. They plan to present their works in China and exchange ideas with interested parties on or off campus in early Fall 2019.

Note: The Visiting Scholars program is organized by SCI China, a platform dedicated to a multi-faceted engagement with Chinese professional institutions, practitioners, and leading universities on sustainability-related research, education and training.
Telling the Story of Springfield's Workforce
Students in UO’s Allen Hall Media have been working throughout this academic year to document the stories of Springfield, Oregon’s workforce through photography and videography as part of the Sustainable City Year Program.

“Allen Hall Media’s work with the city of Springfield involves telling visual stories through photographs about the city’s diverse manufacturing industry in order to change public perceptions about manufacturing work in their community and generate more visibility of Springfield’s high-skilled employment shed,” says Maya Lazaro, the instructor and advisor for Allen Hall Media.

Students are in the final editing stages of outputs that include photo essays, portraits, and photos documenting manufacturing processes and operations. This project provides ongoing to support to our 2011-12 SCYP partner, the city of Springfield.

Photo by Jonathan Roensch, Allen Hall Media
Updates and Announcements
Transportation Research Group Launches at UO

The Transportation Research Group (TRG), led by SCI Director of Research Rebecca Lewis and SCI Research Affiliate Professor Anne Brown, has launched at the University of Oregon. The group’s efforts include public talks, student research projects, and scholarships. As the School of Planning, Public Policy, and Management shapes its forthcoming PhD program, TRG will likely play a large role with SCI as a core focus area. 

Follow TRG on Twitter @UO_transport
Urbanism Next NSF Grant
The Urbanism Next team is in the final stages of an effort supported by the National Science Foundation that brought together 35 grant partners from the private, public, and academic sectors. They have been working on building out the Urbanism Next Framework to identify the cascading impacts that emerging technologies may have on cities, as well as to identify gaps in knowledge and opportunities for future research. Findings will be published this summer, so keep an eye out for the full report.
Faculty and staff updates

  • We are thrilled to share the news that SCI Director of Research Rebecca Lewis has been awarded tenure in the School of Planning, Public Policy, and Management.

  • Law Professor Heather Brinton, a key collaborator on SCI research, is engaged in a current research effort with NITC. The project, called “Matching the Speed,” is focused on developing local policy and code to help cities match the speed of local government decision-making with the speed of technological disruption from transportation network companies, autonomous vehicles, and micromobility. Learn more here.
An EPIC Transformation of Higher Education
Almost as soon as SCYP launched, this unique community-university partnership model began inspiring other universities to adopt and adapt it for their institutional and community contexts. As the number of institutions grew, they eventually formed into their own organization, the Educational Partnerships for Innovation in Communities Network (EPIC-N). Today there are over 35 universities in several countries running ‘the Oregon Model’, changing the way they leverage existing resources and administrative structures to produce better outcomes for communities and students alike. We are very proud of the impact and continued growth of this highly impactful and adaptable applied higher education model.
A Decade of SCYP
As we close out this school year and look ahead to the 2019-20 academic year, we are getting ready to celebrate ten years of the Sustainable City Year Program. Keep an eye out for updates about events commemorating our first decade and looking forward to the next!