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PSU lands Bullitt Foundation grant to further work on urban sustainability in Portland
Author: Christina Williams, Institute for Sustainable Solutions
Posted: October 7, 2013

The Institute for Sustainable Solutions at Portland State University received a $75,000 grant from the Bullitt Foundation to further develop research and partnerships in ecosystem services and urban sustainability. 

Specifically, the one-year grant will continue support for the Cascadia Ecosystem Services Partnership (CaESP), which was established in 2010 to foster regional dialogues and collaborative action around ecosystem service approaches and tools. CaESP links PSU’s growing expertise in natural systems with ecosystems services practitioners in the region. 

The grant will also provide funding to strengthen existing collaboration between PSU and the city of Portland’s Bureau of Planning and Sustainability, engaging students and faculty to take on city sustainability issues. For example, one area of focus is PSU’s growing Sustainable Neighborhoods Initiative, which connects faculty and students with community partners to collaboratively design and deploy neighborhood-scale projects, with an eye toward reaching city and region-wide sustainability goals. 

“This grant will help us continue to align PSU’s resources to better address the growing regional agenda around urban sustainability and ecological systems,” said Jennifer Allen, director of the Institute for Sustainable Solutions and an associate professor in the Hatfield School of Government. “We live on a rapidly urbanizing planet. PSU, in partnership with both the city of Portland and the greater Northwest region, is a leader in developing solutions for cities to grow in harmony with the natural environment.” 

Grant funds will be used to pay for continuing operations of the CaESP program, including the hire of recent PSU graduates through the Institute for Sustainable Solutions’ Young Professionals program. It will also support the development of joint research and engagement initiatives with the city of Portland.  

Through this grant PSU will further its role as a trusted convener, bringing together community leaders to advance collective action around regional ecosystem services approaches and the issues of urban sustainability arising in the Portland metro region. 

The Bullitt Foundation, based in Seattle, invests in environmental leadership throughout the Cascadia region and believes that “the human economy is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the natural environment.”