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University of Oregon Students Continue Their Year in Albany

After a successful first term working on projects ranging from ideas for Downtown Albany’s Water Avenue corridor to market alternatives for biosolids, students involved in the University of Oregon’s Sustainable City Year Program (SCYP) will continue their involvement in Albany with 9 classes that will work on 12 Albany-identified projects. 

On January 13, 2017, groups of business students will tour key parks and recreation sites in Albany as well as visit the St. Francis Hotel in order to evaluate the viability of this historic landmark operating as a hotel again.  The St. Francis is the lone survivor of what used to be eight downtown Albany hotels. 

On the same day, landscape architecture students will visit East Thornton Lake Natural Area.  Albany purchased the 26-acre site in 2009, but development plans have been on hold.  Students will focus their efforts on concepts for a four-acre public park that express the natural and cultural history of the area. 

SCYP is a branch of the University’s Sustainable Cities Initiative, a multidisciplinary organization that researches, designs, and facilitates sustainable development plans and programs for cities.  The SCYP model seeks to pair resources students with cities to plan for sustainable development.  Developed at the University of Oregon, the model has been adopted by 27 other universities across the country, making Albany one of the many cities to join the trend of harnessing the creative perspective students can offer. 

This term’s course list will offer projects across varied disciplines.  Projects include outreach campaigns and civic engagement, site analysis of the Willamette riverfront, mapping of parks, analyzing the potential for passive solar heating on parks structures, and evaluating owner-occupied and rental housing patterns.  Students in the business school will also play a major role, providing proposals that target Parks & Recreation’s business assessment to strategic planning for community sports facilities. 

More information about the program and the partnership can be found at