Cities are always working to improve, yet can struggle with a lack of time, current tools, and/or up-to-date research for dealing with the challenges their constituents face. Conversely, within universities exists an abundance of energy and knowledge, on behalf of students armed with the latest knowledge and tools for addressing today’s challenges and filled with a passion for applying what they’ve learned. This represents a unique opportunity: to enhance the power of the university and the student experience and serve surrounding communities as they tackle their most pressing challenges.
Along with the College of Built Environments, Undergraduate Academic Affairs, and UW Sustainability, Urban@UW is a founding partner supporting Livable City Year (LCY), an initiative designed to connect one city to faculty and courses at the University of Washington over one academic year in order to address city-identified issues of livability and sustainability. Through targeted course-project agreements, LCY-affiliated faculty utilize their existing courses to offer students the experience of working on real-world projects within a campus-wide partnership. An opt-in program led by UW faculty Branden Born (Department of Urban Design and Planning) and Jen Otten (School of Public Health), LCY provides the infrastructure and capacity to connect city needs with faculty course goals, fostering invaluable experience for students as they work within city parameters, meet with municipal agencies, and present and deliver innovative results for city use.
Partners & Collaborators