REDMOND, OR -- After a year of working with University of Oregon students, Redmond’s Sustainable City Year program is winding down. Community Development Director Heather Richards says more than 250 college students put in 40-thousand hours to develop ideas that increase the city’s livability. "We did about 28 projects and each of them have a final report, so it will now be up to the city as to how we move forward with those. The reports give us advice on how to implement the different projects; where the pitfalls are, best practices from other communities. Leadership staff then needs to sort of filter through those and start moving them forward."
Those projects include improving the South Highway 97 corridor. Richards tells KBND News, "We’re actually working on a contract with a consultant team right now, to move that project forward. We’ve taken all the work that the students did and we’ve given it to the consultant; they’re going to fold that into what they’re putting together. There were lots of new ideas that the consultant is excited to explore." Students also proposed redesigning the National Guard Armory to eventually become a public safety building, and creating new walking and biking routes.
to read more about U of O's Sustainable Cities Initiative.
Richards says lessons learned by city officials extend beyond those 28 projects. "We expected this, being our age group and their age group, but we really got pushed to use new and emerging technology to communicate. So, social media – how to sort of beef that up and really get that out there to communicate to our community. And, that was a consistent theme across the board in all of our classes and we’ve already put that into practice and are getting returns on it."
The community is invited to celebrate the end of the one-year partnership Thursday at City Hall, from 1-4 p.m.