San Diego State University’s Sage Project is seeking proposals from area municipalities for a partnership for the 2016-17 academic year.
The Sage Project is a one-year partnership between SDSU and a local government. Students enrolled in courses across the university engage in projects that directly address the partner city’s goals and contribute to the quality of life of residents in the city partner’s community.
“Since the Sage Project started back in the Fall of 2013, we have engaged nearly 2,500 students in projects for the Cities of National City and Santee,” said Jessica Barlow, director of the Sage Project. “We look forward to continuing to make positive changes in local communities throughout the San Diego region while also giving SDSU students memorable and hands-on learning opportunities that prepare them for the real world.”
Community partners wanted
This week SDSU put out a request for proposals, inviting cities in San Diego County to submit a proposal for consideration as the next Sage Project partner. Proposals, which are due by Feb. 15, will include descriptions of potential projects as well as information about available funding.
The partnerships with National City and Santee have been tied to goals and initiatives developed in consultation with city staff and city councilmembers, and include:
- Street improvements to slow traffic, enhance pedestrian safety, address stormwater runoff, and beautify the area with drought-tolerant landscaping
- Land use analysis and designs for redevelopment of sites in a designated tourism district
- Improved wayfinding and signage throughout parks, tourist attractions and high-density areas
- Policy recommendations for cost savings for the city’s general fund
- Analysis of air quality and noise pollution due to industry and recommendations for mitigation of impact on the health and well-being of residents
- Needs assessment for community services related to health, safety and social well-being of residents
- Strategic planning
- Policy recommendations related to homelessness
- San Diego River water quality and stormwater runoff
- GIS mapping of park assets
Campus and community impact
To date, nearly 2,500 SDSU students from numerous disciplines, including city planning, homeland security, civil engineering, geography, graphic design, public administration, public health, recreation and tourism management, and speech, language, hearing sciences have been engaged in projects through Sage Project partnerships.
Students from 60 classes, taught by nearly 40 different faculty members from 25 different disciplines have dedicated tens of thousands of hours assisting communities addressing their pressing social, economic, and environmental needs.
These efforts have had a positive and direct impact on the City of National City. “The results of these efforts have already positively benefited the City,” said Brad Raulston, executive director of development for the City of National City. “We’ve already begun implementing a street improvement project designed in part by civil engineering students. The partnership also helped us obtain an $800,000 grant for a wayfinding project.”
The program is based on the highly successful Sustainable City Year model that originated at the University of Oregon and is being replicated across the country. The Sage Project is a founding member of the Educational Partnerships for Innovation in Communities Network, which was formed by similar programs across the country.
Cities interested in becoming a Sage Project partner city can find more information and details on submitting a proposal by visiting the Sage Project website or contacting the Sage Project via e-mail.