Re-Convening of the Inaugural USA Cohort

July 10-13, 2014



  1. The re-convening of the inaugural cohort will begin at 5 pm Thursday, July 10th and continue through dinner and evening events on Saturday, July 12th.  Plan on three nights total including July 12th.    [Note: The convening for the new cohort begins the afternoon of July 12th and runs through Tuesday evening, July 15th.]
  2. Lodging will be at University Place Hotel near Portland State University (close to a MAX stop).  University place has air conditioning, television and wall to wall carpeting!  Directions to and from the airport will be sent to attendees, and we can arrange for pick-ups as needed. 
  3. Meetings will be held on PSU’s campus, which is walking distance from the hotel.
  4. Breakfast is included with the hotel; lunches and dinners will be held at a variety of interesting and sustainability-oriented places.  We can cater to special diets and dietary restrictions. 
  5. All expenses except for airfare & incidentals will be covered for two participants from each city (ideally they should be active members of your core team).
  6. Others are more than welcome to come; but they will need to pay a fee to cover costs. We estimate this fee will be around $600, including lodging.  (Note: The fee will be lower if the additional attendee shares a room.)
  7. There are four main activities to be accomplished at this second convening:
    1. Review and compare projects (successes, lessons learned, future plans, etc.).
    2. Evaluate the USA program together and suggest any ideas for improvement.
    3. Meet and greet the next cohort and share your stories with them.
    4. Have fun and celebrate being part of a successful inaugural cohort!
  8. Let us know if you’d like us to arrange any site tours or meetings with expert advisers during your visit.  We recommend scheduling such activities for Wednesday (the day before the convening starts) since we’ll be busy on Sunday with the new cohort (you’re welcome to attend Sunday events if you’re around).  We’ll share the schedule of site tours and special topic sessions scheduled for Sunday and Wednesday as it becomes available.

Action Items

  1. Please send names and emails of everyone from your team who will attend the convening to Judy Walton, by Thursday, May 1.  If you know the number of people going but are not sure who yet, please just send the number.  

    Note: Due to high room demand that week, we’ve been asked to encourage participants to share a hotel room. Let us know who on your team is willing to share a room.
  2. Complete a Program Evaluation as a team – a link will be sent to each team member in May. 
  3. Write up a Project Report (see outline below) evaluating the success of your project (as described in your implementation work plan) and the contributions of the USA program to its success.  This report will be presented to other teams at the July 10-12 reconvening.   Length:  2-5 pages.  Due:  June 30 (send to
Outline for Project Report

A. Progress in Implementing Project (What Got Done)

1. Describe what was accomplished during the year, referring as appropriate to the work plan you developed/refined at the July 2013 convening.  

2. Whenever it makes sense, include quantitative measures about your progress and work activities.  For example:  

    • "Added $650,000 in capital improvement budget for construction of green infrastructure in district.” 
    • “Project helped us secure a grant for $110,000 to carry out next stages;” 
    • “Obtained City Council approval of complete streets plan for district” 
    • “Held 18 staff and three community meetings about project” 
    • “Established new working relationship on the project with three important co-participants; the Chamber of Commerce, transit district and community college”

3. Were there any sticking points or obstacles to your project over the past year? How were they overcome?

B. Impact on Urban Sustainability  (What Difference the Project Made)

1. How has the project your team worked on contributed to sustainability in your urban area or beyond - or how will it contribute?  Include both short-term and long-term sustainability benefits.

2. How has participation in the USA program provided intangible benefits that will contribute to future efforts to create a more sustainable city?  This may include important relationships developed; knowledge gained for future use; potential for getting additional funding; or access to new peers and resources.

C. Contributions of USA Program (Value Added from Participation)

1. Describe anything that would not have been accomplished this year (or accomplished as well as it was) without the USA Program.  Descriptions may range from specific details, to the entire project, to any ancillary benefits.

2. Overall, was the program a good value for your investment?  If so, why?  If not, why not?