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Portland State’s Urban Sustainability Accelerator announces first class of cities
Author: Christina Williams
Posted: April 24, 2013

The Urban Sustainability Accelerator has selected its first class of mid-sized cities from around the country to participate in a year-long program to develop and implement sustainability projects. In a twist on PSU’s motto, “Let knowledge serve the city,” the Urban Sustainability Accelerator was created to support smaller and mid-sized cities and help them make new strides in sustainable development.

The inaugural 2013-14 accelerator class will include the cities of Waco, Texas; Wichita, Kan.; Portland, Maine; Louisville, Ky.; El Paso, Texas; and the Sacramento Council of Governments and member cities Elk Grove and Rancho Cordova, Calif.

The city teams were selected for participation in the program based on their desire and capacity to advance plans and policies related to sustainability in their own regions. Representatives from the cities will begin immediately to work with accelerator staff and experts to develop and implement plans focused on integrating green infrastructure with urban redevelopment and infill projects.

“Over the last 40 years, people in our region—at PSU, in government, the private sector, nonprofit organizations, and community leaders—have acquired valuable expertise in many sustainability subjects,” said Robert Liberty, director of the Urban Sustainability Accelerator.  “Today, as other cities aspire to greater sustainability they can both draw upon that expertise, and through our collaboration with them, contribute to that store of knowledge.”

The program will bring teams from all of the participating cities to Portland in July for a three-day technical workshop with accelerator staff and regional experts in sustainable urban development, green building and transportation.

“Participation in the Urban Sustainability Accelerator’s inaugural year is an honor and will be a critical step in Waco realizing our transformational goals,” said Chris McGowan, director of urban development at the Greater Waco Chamber. “This is not only an opportunity to take advantage of expertise at PSU but also a great chance to learn from some outstanding peer leaders in our partner cities.”

For more information about the program contact Robert Liberty at 503-313-9567.