CPW: The Reckoning

Dan Reid, M.Arch/MCRP student, and his beautiful family

The most exciting part of my work with Community Planning Workshop over the past two terms was the opportunity to effect real, concrete, positive change in the community through the Oregon RAIN (Regional Accelerator and Innovation Network) project. I came into the project with a little background in local economic development through a prior internship in the Community Development division of Eugene’s Planning and Development Department. Through that work, I got a firsthand glimpse of a city working to rebuild its downtown core into a thriving economic center, celebrating triumphs, working through setbacks, and gradually transforming itself. When I saw in January that one of our CPW projects would be about local economic development, I immediately knew that I wanted to contribute to that work of transformation.

The “real” and “concrete” descriptors I used are important to me too. I am also in my third year of the Master of Architecture program, which I’ve found to be a great complement to my planning education, but doesn’t easily lend itself to actually affecting the real world. Even when our studio projects involve real sites and real clients – such as the Springfield urban design project I did through the Sustainable Cities Initiative – they generally don’t lead to anything actually being built. As a result, CPW was a nice change of pace: we actually got to build something that, while not tangible like a library or a row of townhouses, has the potential to make a real difference in the local economy.

There were challenges along the way, though, and the biggest and most constant one for me has been time management. This is partly due to the fact that I finished the second half of my architecture terminal studio during the first half of CPW, and partly due to my son Miles being born on February 24. Add to that my two-year-old daughter Stella, my wife Monica, my other classes, and my job all vying for attention, and I’m in constant jeopardy of dropping at least one of the many balls I’ve got in the air. Not that I’m complaining; on the contrary, all the love and support I get from my amazing wife and beautiful kids reminds me why I’m juggling in the first place.

About the Author: Dan Reid is a concurrent M.Arch/MCRP student, and enjoys nerding out on music, martial arts, astronomy, and old racing cars.

Community Service Center honored for contributions to planning

Megan Smith and Robert Parker, managing co-directors of the Community Service Center.

EUGENE, Ore. – (May 3, 2013) – The University of Oregon’s Community Service Center (CSC) will receive the 2013 Oregon Chapter of the American Planning Association’s (OAPA) Special Achievement in Planning Award at the OAPA conference in Portland on May 30.

For 40 years, the CSC has linked the skills, expertise, and innovation of higher education with local planning, economic development, and environmental issues to improve quality of life for Oregon communities and residents.

The CSC service-learning education model provides student-participants important service and professional experience by helping to solve community and regional issues.

According to Stacy Humphrey, Chair of the OAPA Award Committee, “The OAPA Awards Committee recognized that the Community Service Center is a great mechanism to introduce folks to planning and see how planning works. The 40 year legacy of this program is evident in the caliber of professional planners that call the university their alma mater, and in the quality of community planning throughout Oregon. We all benefit when our communities have worked with the CSC.”

The CSC started small in 1973, when then-UO faculty member David Povey envisioned a program that linked higher education with local communities to solve pressing community problems. The first project evaluated the impacts if Senate Bill 100 — Oregon’s innovative land use law that celebrates its 40th anniversary this month — was not passed. The result of that evaluation was a report, “Activities of Statewide Significance,” developed by six students and Povey. Since then, the CSC has grown to engage more than 120 students each year in more than 170 projects statewide.

The CSC includes four core programs: (1) Community Planning Workshop (CPW); (2) Resource Assistance for Rural Environments (RARE); (3) Oregon Partnership for Disaster Resilience (OPDR); and (4) Economic Development Administration University Center (EDAUC). These programs provide community service coordination, technical assistance, problem solving, connections with state and federal agencies, training, and applied research.

The CSC’s programs have expanded its reach, breadth, and depth over its 40 years. In 2011, the CSC’s projects engaged 4,924 community members, provided 1,018 training hours to community members, presented 241 times at community meetings, engaged 125 students, and completed 174 projects for 53 Oregon cities and 34 counties.

The CSC partners with the UO Department of Planning, Public Policy and Management (PPPM) and the School of Architecture and Allied Arts. CSC has a professional staff of six practitioners who provide key insights and direct experience that complements PPPM’s academic programs.

About the University of Oregon
The UO is a world-class teaching and research institution and Oregon’s flagship public university. The UO is a member of the Association of American Universities (AAU), an organization made up of the 61 leading public and private research institutions in the United States and Canada. The University of Oregon is one of only two AAU members in the Pacific Northwest.

Contact: Marti Gerdes, A&AA Communications, (541) 346-6094, martig@uoregon.edu; or Karen Johnson, (541) 346-3603, karenjj@uoregon.edu