Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 72.47
Liaison Jenny McNamara
Submission Date March 30, 2018
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Portland State University
EN-10: Community Partnerships

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 3.00 / 3.00 Amanda Wolf
Program + Assessment Coordinator
Campus Sustainability Office
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Name of the institution’s formal community partnership to advance sustainability :
Climate Resilience in Urban Campuses and Communities (CRUX)

Does the institution provide financial or material support for the partnership? :
Yes

Which of the following best describes the partnership timeframe?:
Short-term project or event

Which of the following best describes the partnership’s sustainability focus?:
The partnership simultaneously supports social equity and wellbeing, economic prosperity, and ecological health

Are underrepresented groups and/or vulnerable populations engaged as equal partners in strategic planning, decision-making, implementation and review? (Yes, No, or Not Sure):
Yes

A brief description of the institution’s formal community partnership to advance sustainability, including website URL (if available) and information to support each affirmative response above:

By signing on to Second Nature’s Climate Commitment in 2015, PSU was one of the first universities to commit to planning for adaptation in a rapidly changing climate. Through the Climate Resilience in Urban Campuses and Communities (CRUX) grant, we are developing a climate change resilience capacity assessment for the PSU community. This will lay the foundation of our resilience and adaptation strategy moving forward. The grant also supports working with Mt. Hood Community College and the City of Gresham to assess their capacity and build networks of resilience.

In partnership with the City of Portland, the Downtown Neighborhood Association, Portland Climate Action Collaborative, the Mapping Action Collective, PSU researchers, and more, we are planning to be more resilient together despite significant changes in our future.

Grant was funding for 18 months and we are currently seeking funding to expand the work and program.


Name of the institution’s formal community partnership to advance sustainability (2nd partnership):
Portland Climate Action Collaborative

Does the institution provide financial or material support for the partnership? (2nd partnership):
Yes

Which of the following best describes the partnership timeframe? (2nd partnership):
Multi-year or ongoing

Which of the following best describes the partnership’s sustainability focus? (2nd partnership):
The partnership simultaneously supports social equity and wellbeing, economic prosperity, and ecological health

Are underrepresented groups and/or vulnerable populations engaged as equal partners in strategic planning, decision-making, implementation and review? (2nd partnership) (Yes, No, or Not Sure):
Yes

A brief description of the institution’s formal community partnership to advance sustainability, including website URL (if available) and information to support each affirmative response above (2nd partnership):

The Portland Climate Action Collaborative is a partnership between the PSU Institute for Sustainable Solutions and the City of Portland to advance goals outlined in the Portland and Multnomah County Climate Action Plan. The Institute for Sustainable Solutions creates and supports collaborative research projects and internships that lead to relevant sustainability outcomes for the city and region. The collaborative started with support from the Bullitt Foundation in 2013.

Through co-creating projects and identifying outcomes and deliverables for researchers and practitioners, the climate collaborative focuses on:
-Projects that help achieve goals or inform decision-making regarding the Portland and Multnomah County Climate Action Plan while providing meaningful research and educational opportunities for PSU faculty and students.
-Interdisciplinary work that allows us to consider multiple aspects of climate change scenarios, mitigation, and response.

The Portland Climate Action Collaborative also supports the work of the Sustainability Research Network (SRN), which is a nation-wide project of the National Science Foundation to tackle challenges in urban sustainability. Due to shared program goals and similar approaches in bringing together practitioners and researchers, several projects are supported by both the SRN and the Portland Climate Action Collaborative. Involvement with the SRN means that the work of the Portland Climate Action Collaborative has the potential for positive impact in both Portland and in cities across the country.

Over the last four years over $600,000 in projects have been funded and multiple interns have been placed within BPS.


Name of the institution’s formal community partnership to advance sustainability (3rd partnership):
Green Lents

Does the institution provide financial or material support for the partnership? (3rd partnership):
Yes

Which of the following best describes the partnership timeframe? (3rd partnership):
Multi-year or ongoing

Which of the following best describes the partnership’s sustainability focus? (3rd partnership):
The partnership simultaneously supports social equity and wellbeing, economic prosperity, and ecological health

Are underrepresented groups and/or vulnerable populations engaged as equal partners in strategic planning, decision-making, implementation and review? (3rd partnership) (Yes, No, or Unknown):
Yes

A brief description of the institution’s formal community partnership to advance sustainability, including website URL (if available) and information to support each affirmative response above (3rd partnership):

Green Lents is a non-profit organization that PSU partners with on several projects through out the year. The Institute for Sustainable Solutions provides financial support to the organization by providing paid interns throughout the year. Below is a list of recent projects that ISS has collaborated with Green Lents on:

Green Loop: PSU sociology and urban planning researchers teamed up with City of Portland urban design staff to investigate accessibility and interests concerning green spaces in the city, including the Green Loop, a concept by the City’s Bureau of Planning and Sustainability that envisions green spaces, bike and pedestrian networks, and recreational routes as part of the Central City 2035 plan. Their findings revealed low income communities outside of the city center valued local connectivity and desired safe streets within their neighborhoods—i.e., localized versions of the mostly downtown-focused design of the Green Loop.

Johnson Creek Flooplain Listening Project: The Listening Project and collective impact The Listening Project is part of Oregon Solutions Lents Stabilization and Job Creation Collaborative. This particular project evolved into a collective impact effort to bring in partners such as PSU’s Institute for Sustainable Solutions, The City of Portland Housing Bureau and Bureau of Environmental Services, Portland Development Commission, and local community organization Green Lents. Our mission was to listen to our community in Lents, get a deeper understanding of the financial burden placed on residents caused by increasing rates of hazard insurance, and identify solutions to help residents overcome those issues.

Livable Lents Grant Writing: Part of a senior capstone, a Grant Writing for Environmental Advocacy class had students delve into the intricacies of the grant writing process, from finding a suitable funder, to working with the grant-seeking organization to refine its concept of the community need it seeks to meet, to assembling a thorough and complete grant proposal for community partner Green Lents.


A brief description of the institution’s other community partnerships to advance sustainability:

Resilient Portland:
With the Institute for Sustainable Solutions as convener, eight Portland city agencies are working together to develop a unified resiliency plan to better respond to community needs should a major disaster hit—including a 9.0 earthquake or 500-year flood. Since June 2017, the Resilient Infrastructure Planning Exercise (RIPE) team has been meeting to identify the city’s critical infrastructure—from roads to hospitals to water lines. The team’s goal? To understand the interdependencies between different infrastructure systems and develop priorities for getting infrastructure assets back online as soon as possible following a disaster.

Small Backyard Homes: Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs):
The Institute for Sustainable Solutions is spearheading an initiative to make it easier and more affordable for Portland homeowners to construct a second house on their property—increasing housing options in a city with some of the fastest rising rents and lowest vacancy rates in the nation.Called “accessory dwelling units” or ADUs, these small backyard homes can be used by family members or rented out to others in the community. They provide more affordable housing options while reducing pollutants that cause climate change.The Institute is working with city agencies, architects, financial institutions, low-income housing providers, and others to develop a simple, affordable, ready-to-go solution for homeowners interested in building an ADU.

Transportation Research and Education Center (TREC):
TREC, the Transportation Research and Education Center for Portland State University, houses the National Institute for Transportation and Communities, or NITC, and the archives of its predecessor grant program, the Oregon Transportation Research and Education Consortium, or OTREC. TREC also administers the Initiative for Bicycle and Pedestrian Innovation, or IBPI, and other transportation grants and programs. We produce timely, practical research useful to transportation decision makers and support the education of future transportation professionals through curriculum development and student participation in research.

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.


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