Sustainable Cities offers three-day how-to conference in April

February 6, 2013

Early bird registration ends February 22 for the Sustainable City Year (SCY) conference scheduled April 9-12 in Eugene and Portland. The three-day conference is for university representatives and partners interested in establishing a SCY program at their home institutions.

The workshop will provide implementation techniques such as funding opportunities, project selection, administration buy-in, and first-year successes and failures, with presentations by representatives of institutions that have applied this community-engagement model at colleges and universities around the country.

Because the Sustainable City Year Program (SCYP) uses existing university courses, it is scalable and replicable to higher education institutions of all types. Participants will leave the workshop with a detailed set of documents that can serve as a “starter kit” for creating a Sustainable City Year Program at their institution.

The conference goal is to modernize higher education across the country to give students what they desire and need while empowering institutions of higher learning to be catalysts in addressing some of society’s most pressing challenges.

The SCYP is an award-winning, innovative program that connects existing classes, faculty, and assignments across disciplines to real-world projects identified by a different city each academic year. The Oregon implementation includes up to 30 courses across ten or more disciplines, engaging more than 500 students who give 60,000 hours of fresh thinking, community engagement, and ideas to help communities move forward with sustainability-oriented projects and policies.

The New York Times has called the program "perhaps the most comprehensive effort by a U.S. university to infuse sustainability into its curricula and community outreach." It has received numerous national and international recognitions over its four years of operation, and in 2012 the program's founders were recognized as the top faculty innovators in sustainability education by the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE).

Education writer Scott Driscoll noted in the February 2013 issue of Alaska Airlines magazine that “blurring the boundaries between the classroom and the real world (can better prepare) students for today’s or tomorrow’s workplace demands. One such effort is the Sustainable City Year Program (SCYP) at the University of Oregon in Eugene.”

Early bird registration, which ends February 22, costs $365 for the first guest and $295 for each additional guest from the same college or university. After February 22, registration cost will rise to $465 for the first guest and $395 for each additional guest from the same college or university. All meals and transportation from Portland to Eugene are included in this fee.

The conference agenda can be downloaded here.

For more information, contact Jessica Bloomfield at or (541) 346-3582.