Community Engagement

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The School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning works with the community in reciprocal partnership. The initiatives contribute to community dialogue and respond to community needs. Here are a few examples:

Arizona State Climate Office

The primary goal of the Arizona State Climate Office is to provide information regarding the state’s climate in support of operational, educational, planning, and research endeavors.

Arizona Geographic Alliance

Founded in 1992 as part of a national network of state geography alliances, the Arizona Geographic Alliance currently has over 5,050 members and more than 150 teachers in its Teacher Consultant leadership cadre. The organization hosts numerous workshops as well as a Summer Geography Institute. Since 2003, the Alliance has provided professional growth opportunities in geography education to over 19,000 teachers who in turn have impacted over 763,000 students. The Alliance web site provides over 330 K-12 geography lesson plans linked to national and state standards as well as printable outline maps.

Faculty Projects

Valley Metro Bendy bus

Arizona Town Hall

The Arizona Town Hall is a nonprofit organization that identifies critical issues facing Arizona, and hosts biannual Town Hall meetings to promote public consideration of these issues and build consensus, as well as supporting implementation of the resulting recommendations. Several School faculty have taken responsibility for preparing Town Hall Background Reports, documents distributed to Town Hall participants before each conference. Most recently, Professors Michael Kuby and Associate Professor Aaron Golub prepared the 106th Arizona Town Hall report on Transportation and Arizona.

Navajo Planning Training Program

Navajo Nation Community Planning Training Program

Professor David Pijawka leads collaborations with the Navajo Nation. The work focuses on evaluating comprehensive planning needs, developing model plans and guidelines, and providing professional training at the chapter level so that the nation can successfully embark on comprehensive planning on its tribal lands.  A December 2014 report systematically assessed land use planning in the Navajo Nation, and in summer 2015, the school hosted a training program to provide Navajo planners the latest approaches and techniques for developing regional plans.

Community/Classroom Collaboration

The School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning has continuously engaged with Phoenix-area communities, agencies and organizations in projects that support community initiatives and provide students with real-world planning experiences. Here are some recent examples:

Recent projects

sidewalk in wickenburg
Wickenburg Downtown Heritage

Students from Arizona State University’s Master of Urban and Environmental Planning (MUEP) program partnered with the Town of Wickenburg to address strategies for the town’s economic development, growth, and design. The second-year students prepared a comprehensive 200 page planning report, the “Wickenburg Downtown Heritage Plan.” The Arizona Chapter of the American Planning Association selected the Wickenburg report as the best student project of 2014.

phoenix warehouse district
Warehouse District Reactivation

Over the years the Phoenix historic Warehouse District has seen buildings demolished and cultures dispersed in favor of sports venues and parking lots.  With the help of City of Phoenix staff, surrounding surrounding residential communities, Warehouse District stakeholders, and members of the general public, a graduate-level planning course created a plan to revitalize the district. The students were guided by instructor Dr. Lauren Allsopp to develop a plan that would retain and enhance social equity; create real strategies; and find funding sources to make them implementable.  

American Indian Community Planning

This course provided students a chance to learn first-hand from ASU scholars who specialize in American Indian culture, law, governance, and planning. Applying what they heard, students worked in teams, with each team preparing a practical proposal on a specific planning issue affecting a Native community. The course was offered collaboratively with the American Indian Studies Program, and allowed students in the two cooperating programs the opportunity to work together.