Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 80.84
Liaison Alex Davis
Submission Date Feb. 27, 2017
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Arizona State University
IN-26: Innovation C

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.00 / 1.00 Corey Hawkey
Assistant Director
University Sustainability Practices
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Name or title of the innovative policy, practice, program, or outcome:
Sustainable Cities Network

A brief description of the innovative policy, practice, program, or outcome that outlines how credit criteria are met and any positive measurable outcomes associated with the innovation:

Arizona State University’s Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability created the Sustainable Cities Network (SCN) in 2008, which works with local communities to explore sustainable approaches and address challenges. What makes SCN innovative and beyond EN-10 is:

1) It's an innovative arrangement with multiple municipalities across the state that address real problems
2) (Starting in 2014) It provides an innovative vehicle to foster student internship and classroom opportunities that bring real world local problems to the classroom, and (https://sustainability.asu.edu/sustainable-cities/student-research/);
3) (Starting in 2017) It's kicking off the Project Cities Program which will enable ASU to work with one local city on a menu of projects via classes of designated courses. Project Cities is under the umbrella of SCN and will address sustainability-related problems/projects in cities that are related, but limited to, community urban planning, community health, livability, water/air quality, economic development, energy use/conservation, neighborhood development and services, vulnerable population needs/services, etc. This will be an ongoing program where cities will have the opportunity to apply to be the focus of study on scheduled basis (every 12-24 months).


ASU, city, county, and tribal leaders established the Sustainable Cities Network to:

- Enhance and ensure the sustainability of the region
- Share knowledge and coordinate efforts to solve local sustainability issues
- Foster partnerships and discover best practices
- Provide training and information
- Offer meaningful connections and collective learning opportunities
- Connect ASU research with the front-line challenges of sustainability


The Network provides practitioners statewide with knowledge, resources, and innovations to accelerate the valley toward national leadership in sustainability. Through the Network, partners, the steering committee, and work-groups collaborate to streamline city operations, advance solar energy, mitigate the urban heat island, design sustainable neighborhoods, and secure water supplies in a changing climate. SCN’s network of partnerships includes over 60 municipalities and tribal communities and 60 non-profits/private companies, with weekly correspondence that reaches over 800 stakeholders. Working together, Network partners are making sustainability a core value in city planning, policy, and operations.

In addition to hosting working groups and events, SCN provides comprehensive research services, in collaboration with ASU students, on behalf of member communities, including city surveys for best practices, resource databases on specific topics such as Tree & Shade planning and grants, and information that expands beyond environmental sustainability to include public health, education, and social equity.

The Steering Committee is responsible for the development and management of the Sustainable Cities Network. The Committee and driving force behind the network includes, ASU’s Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability and pioneering communities from the Valley. Together these communities and their representative, guide the Network on a monthly basis by identifying priorities, opportunities, best practices, and challenges.

The Steering Committee community members include:

City of Avondale – Drew Bryck, Environmental Program Manager
City of Chandler – Robert Goff, Utility Analyst
City of Flagstaff – Nicole Woodman, Sustainability Manager
City of Glendale – Megan Sheldon, Environmental Programs Manager
City of Mesa – Scott Bouchie, Manager, Office of Environmental Initiatives; Laura Hyneman, Deputy Director of Environmental Management & Sustainability
City of Peoria – Lisa Estrada, Economic Efficiency and Sustainability Initiative Manager
City of Phoenix – Mark Hartman, Chief Sustainability Officer
City of Scottsdale – Tim Conner, Principal Planner/Architect
City of Tempe – Bonnie Richardson, Principal Planner
City of Tucson – Leslie Ethen, Director, Office of Conservation and Sustainble Development
Maricopa County – Phil McNeely, Director of the Maricopa County Air Quality Department
Arizona State University – Meredith Simpson, Chief of Staff, Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability
Arizona State University – Nalini Chhetri, Senior Sustainability Scientist


The workgroups are comprised of community participants from various cities, counties, and tribes and are organized through common sustainability interests, needs, and goals. A workgroup is formed when a topic need is established and a community “champion” volunteers to lead the workgroup. Each workgroup has the opportunity to pursue projects with deliverable outcomes, benefiting the communities at large.

Best Management Practices (BMP) and Green Building (GB) Workgroup

The mission of the Best Management Practices/Green Building workgroup is to collaborate and share “lessons learned” in implementing and promoting the broad range of activities associated with municipal sustainability in Arizona. The workgroup also works to collaborate and find ways to implement and incorporate effective green building programs around the Valley.

Green Infrastructure (GI)

The Green Infrastructure Workgroup was created following the Regional Tree & Shade Summit held in March 2011. It meets to discuss best practices for the integration of green infrastructure into city planning and development as well as emerging strategies and technologies related to green infrastructure.

Solar & Energy Efficiency (SEE)

The Solar & Energy Efficiency workgroup explores methods to expand and enhance the way jurisdictions generate clean and renewable energy.

In addition to its long-term directives, the Network coordinates monthly meetings among workgroups and facilitates short-term projects among members. At monthly meetings, SCN hosts opportunities with Senior Sustainability Scientists and other experts from around the country to speak with practitioners to enhance their sustainability efforts. Current short-term projects include establishing a Green Events Guide for the Valley, drafting an LID/Green Infrastructure manual specific to Maricopa County, and coordinating a grants workshop to further municipalities’ knowledge of funding processes for specific projects. SCN hosts monthly workgroup meetings for participants in the areas of Solar & Energy Efficiency, Best Management Practices, and Green Infrastructure.

Which of the following impact areas does the innovation most closely relate to? (select up to three):
Public Engagement
Coordination & Planning

A letter of affirmation from an individual with relevant expertise or a press release or publication featuring the innovation :

The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:

Data source(s) and notes about the submission:

The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution or simply email your inquiry to stars@aashe.org.