Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 68.95
Liaison Daryl Pierson
Submission Date June 30, 2016
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

Portland State University
EN-9: Community Partnerships

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 3.00 / 3.00 Fletcher Beaudoin
Sustainability Partnerships Director
Institute for Sustainable Solutions
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution have at least one formal sustainability partnership with the local community that meets the criteria as “supportive”?:

A brief description of the institution’s supportive sustainability partnership(s) with the local community:

Portland State University engages with more than 1,000 community partners annually. These partnerships range from very formal and institutional in focus with the local transit agency to very small scale partnership between individual faculty and community partners that engage students in a local stream restoration project. It would be impossible to list the range and scope of all of these partnerships. These partnerships all touch on the various dimensions of sustainability.
Organizations across campus supply opportunities for businesses and organizations to get involved with PSU, often furthering their own sustainability goals while providing valuable research opportunities for students and faculty.
Here is a sampling of partnership opportunities:

Community Environmental Services
A student-staffed organization, Community Environmental Services (CES) has more than 20 years of experience working with local governments, organizations and businesses to to institute efficient recycling, waste reduction and resource sustainability programs. CES has worked with the Port of Portland, New Seasons Market, the City of Portland, Nike, and many others.

Green Building Research Laboratory
Funded by the Institute for Sustainable Solutions and the Oregon Built Environment and Sustainable Technologies Center (Oregon BEST), the Green Building Research Lab is equipped with state-of-the-art equipment for research, testing and evaluation of green building materials and practices. The lab offers several options for industry partners to connect—from equipment rental to joint research projects.

Impact Entrepreneurs
The PSU's Impact Entrepreneurs program supports social entrepreneurship through leadership training, field studies, mentorship programs and the Social Innovation Incubator, which provides startup resources to nascent nonprofits and businesses working to address social issues.

Urban Sustainability Accelerator
This program, housed at the Nohad A. Toulan School of Urban Studies & Planning, pairs experts in Portland—both on- and off-campus—with city leaders and developers from mid-sized cities around the country who are wrestling with their own sustainable development projects.

TREC, the Transportation Research and Education Center for Portland State University
TREC is based at PSU and home to researchers studying multiple aspects of transportation including electric vehicles, bike, pedestrian and transit infrastructure and technology-assisted transportation systems.

Cascadia Ecosystem Services Partnership
Cascadia Ecosystem Services Partnership (CaESP) provides a hub of strategic assistance, communication, and support to promote a shared direction for ecosystem services work in the Cascadia region, especially Oregon and Washington.

Sustainable Neighborhoods Initiative
Linking the university and the community through place-based curriculum, the Sustainable Neighborhoods Initiative (SNI) harnesses the passion of students and the expertise of faculty to help neighborhoods tackle district-scale sustainability initiatives. In the last two years, more than 800 students in 35 classes from across the University have engaged with one of Portland State’s four neighborhood partners to help advance local sustainability projects. Classes have taken on a range of projects such as conducting transportation surveys with neighbors, designing energy efficiency campaigns, hosting outreach and design charrettes for an urban community orchard, developing business plans that the explore triple-bottom-line, and conducting extensive primary research on a variety of topics including stormwater management, preserving affordable housing in gentrifying neighborhoods, biodiversity monitoring, and more.
See also: http://www.pdx.edu/sustainability/sustainable-neighborhoods

Community Watershed Stewardship Program
This partnership between PSU and the City of Portland's Bureau of Environmental Services (BES) was developed in response to a pressing community need: As the Portland metro region urbanized, its streams, rivers, and lakes have become increasingly polluted, and stormwater runoff has overloaded the city's drainage infrastructure. The CWSP engages and supports the neighborhood residents in watershed improvement projects through campus-community partnerships.
See also: http://www.pdx.edu/research/strategic-partnerships

Portland-PSU Climate Research Collaborative
The Institute of Sustainable Solutions at PSU works with the Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability to identify collaborative projects between PSU faculty and students and BPS staff that advance the city and county’s climate action plan. The goal is for these projects to support and inform the city’s decision-making and progress on its climate action goals, while building the foundation for a more ingrained and effective long-term partnership between the two institutions. The collaborative has taken on four projects since 2014 that include such subjects as urban heat and air quality, the local food economy, and green infrastructure.

Does the institution have at least one formal sustainability partnership with the local community that meets the criteria as “collaborative”?:

A brief description of the institution's collaborative sustainability partnership(s):

Food is Hope, Food is Health Collaborative

The mission of the collaborative is rooted in the clear and compelling science of the developmental origins of health and disease (DOHaD) that tells us that the vulnerability for chronic and other diseases, both physical and mental, are “programmed” into human biology much earlier than we thought. To address this, our focus is on creating healthy communities characterized by higher nutritional status, family financial stability, strong social networks, and low levels of “toxic stress” associated with social disadvantage. We want to do this, in part, by creating food systems as an organizing framework that can create opportunities for community engagement, economic development, and building of social capital across sectors.

Sustainable Neighborhoods Initiative
The Sustainable Neighborhoods Initiative is a formal “collaborative partnership” that aims to better connect Portland State with local organizations in continued engagement on sustainability issues in order to enhance our community impact, provide powerful learning experiences, and exemplify our motto -- “Let Knowledge Serve the City.” Through the SNI, the Institute for Sustainable Solutions partners the University with select neighborhood groups in Portland to create rich community-based learning and applied research projects that support these local organizations in making measurable progress on urban sustainability goals. The SNI is supported by the Institute for Sustainable Solutions, which leverages funding from the James F. and Marion L. Miller Foundation’s 10-year, $25 million challenge gift to the University, and provides staff to lead the SNI, graduate assistants to help liaise between faculty and partners, and other funding for internships, materials, faculty support, and so on. In the last two years, more than 800 students in 35 classes from across the University have engaged with one of Portland State’s four neighborhood partners to help advance local sustainability projects.
SNI projects are designed to be responsive to community-identified needs, and to leverage university expertise to advance neighborhood-scale sustainability goals. The scope of these projects can address a variety of sustainability challenges, including social equity (i.e. affordable housing in gentrifying neighborhoods), health and well-being (i.e. understanding mental health consequences of displacement on people of color communities), green economics (i.e. feasibility studies of social enterprises to employ under-represented communities, produce urban agriculture, and reduce environmental waste), and ecological health (i.e. watershed restoration and pollinator research in low-income communities). Both community partners, ISS staff, and faculty play key roles in the initiative-- from project development, agenda setting and planning to decision-making, implementation, and review of student learning and project outcomes.

Does the institution have at least one formal sustainability partnership with the local community that meets the criteria as “transformative”?:

A brief description of the institution's transformative sustainability partnership(s) with the local community:

The Portland Climate Action Collaborative is working to further the goals in the City of Portland/Multnomah County Climate Action Plan. This on-going work was initiated in 2014 and has no plan to terminate work. Projects under the collaborative have a special focus on equity considerations in policies and actions that reduce carbon emissions, understanding how vulnerable populations will be affected by climate change, and understanding the economic impacts of climate-related policy and climate change effects. Research projects generally last between 9-24 months, and directly relate to needs within the City. In addition to research projects, the PCAC has an internship program that places students in community-based organizations working on equity issues or with underserved populations. The interns integrate climate related projects into the the organization’s regular work.

ISS facilitates the collaboration between PSU and the City’s Bureau of Planning and Sustainability (who oversee the Climate Action Plan), by providing funds for research and interns, creating connections and assembling project teams, and convening groups of relevant outside advisors and practitioners to advise on individual projects. Relevant stakeholder groups are identified and engaged through ISS networks, BPS staff, and PSU researchers. The partnership aims to further the goals in the Climate Action Plan by creating strong long-lasting partnerships between PSU and the City of Portland; and by making regular practice of leveraging PSU resources to create collaborative and research-based action within city government.

A brief description of the institution’s sustainability partnerships with distant (i.e. non-local) communities:

The website URL where information about sustainability partnerships is available:
Data source(s) and notes about the submission:

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