Jun 07, 2013

OTREC executive committee member Marc Schlossberg of University of Oregon will present a lecture June 19 for the U.S. Department of Transportation's Research and Innovative Technology Administration in Washington, D.C. Schlossberg will offer insights into the Sustainable Cities Initiative as part of the U.S. DOT's Transportation Innovation Series.

The Sustainable Cities Initiative at the University of Oregon promotes education, service, public outreach and research on the design and development of sustainable cities. The initiative's Sustainable City Year program puts the institutional resources of the University of Oregon to use solving the problems of a single Oregon city. Each year, the program connects around 30 courses across a dozen disciplines and involves more than 500 students. Students work to address projects identified by city staff.

Schlossberg's lecture will provide details on the educational model, explain how the model works and provide details on how it could change higher education to meet transportaiton needs.

Click here for details on the lecture.

More information on the Sustainable Cities Initiative is here.

Nov 02, 2011

The third Sustainable City Year partnership, this year with Springfield, Ore., is officially underway after a kickoff ceremony Sept. 28 at the University of Oregon. The experiential learning program, part of the OTREC-supported Sustainable Cities Initiative, focused on the cities of Gresham and Salem, respectively, in its first two years.

Each year, Sustainable City Year channels the resources of courses across disciplines to serve a single city for an entire academic year. Students gain invaluable experience working directly with city staffs on real-world projects. The cities gain the resources to take on needed projects that would never see the light of day without the program.

In Salem, the program encompassed 28 courses, 25 faculty members on two campuses, 10 disciplines and more than 500 students and 80,000 hours. The Springfield partnership is expected to involve more than 400 students and 20 faculty members. Projects will involve Springfield city staff from several departments and participation from the Springfield Utility Board, Willamalane Park and Recreation District, Metro Wastewater Management Commission, United Way, the Springfield school...

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Jul 01, 2011

Even with uncertainty clouding the future of university transportation research, more than 150 people from around the country showed their dedication to providing the most useful transportation research at the Council of University Transportation Centers2011 summer meeting. OTREC hosted the conference June 13-15 at Portland State University.

University transportation researchers and staff, along with federal and state transportation officials, convened for three days of work sessions, meetings and exploring. OTREC-organized tours gave a Portland flavor to the proceedings, letting visitors explore the city by every available transportation mode. The 4T trail took participants on a light-rail train, a trail, an aerial tram and a streetcar (or trolley). The bike tour showed off the bicycle infrastructure that is making Portland nationally known. An architecture walking tour highlighted downtown Portland’s buildings and parks. And the food-and-beer tour explored the city’s burgeoning food-cart scene and copious microbreweries.

For many people, the conference provided the...

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May 30, 2011

The Oregon Transportation Research and Education Consortium would like to congratulate two of its affiliated students who took home hefty scholarships this past week from the Women’s Transportation Seminar (WTS).

Kristi Currans of Portland State University and Jessica Bloomfield of the University of Oregon were both awarded scholarships at a May 26 dinner at Wilf’s in Union Station. The Women’s Transportation Seminar was established by the federal government with the goal of transforming the transportation industry through the advancement of women. Overall, WTS awarded $15,500 in scholarships this year to women pursuing higher education and careers in transportation.

Currans, a graduate Civil Engineering student at PSU, took home a $3,500 Graduate Scholarship. She holds an undergraduate degree in Civil Engineering from Oregon State University, where she was named Student of the Year in 2010. Currently, Curran is working with travel demand modeling as part of a workforce training program between PSU and the Oregon Department of Transportation. Active in the American Society of Civil Engineers,

 

the Institute of Transportation Engineers and Students in Transportation Engineering, she would like to teach and...

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May 29, 2011

If the posters lining the wall showed how visionary the Sustainable City Year model can be, the Salem city officials attending the May 20 reception testified how practical it can be as well. The reception recapped the work of the second Sustainable City Year, now drawing to a close.

Sustainable City Year is a program of the Sustainable Cities Initiative, one of three OTREC initiatives. In the program, 500 students on two campuses worked on 16 projects to help Salem meet sustainability goals.

Although work continues in Salem and at the University of Oregon and Portland State University, May 20 was an opportunity to thank the participants and punctuate a second successfully year, following the inaugural efforts in Gresham, Ore. Next year’s Sustainable City Year will focus on Springfield, Ore.

Linda Norris, Salem’s city manager, couldn’t say enough about the contributions the program made to her city. Students in 29 classes on the two campuses put in 80,000 hours of time. Sustainable City Year’s choosing Salem was like magic, Norris said.

The students didn’t just treat their work as a hypothetical problem to solve; they poured themselves into the projects and the goals behind them. “When we heard how seriously they were taking this, and how much they cared about this community, it really did give me goose bumps,” Norris said.

Salem did not have money to get many of the projects started without Sustainable City Year, Norris said. But now that...

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Mar 10, 2011

University of Oregon master’s student Kory Northrop won an award for the best poster at the recent Region X Student Transportation Conference in Corvallis. Northrop, a second-year Environmental Studies student, along with Planning, Public Policy and Management students Michael Duncan and Ted Sweeney, presented their work Feb. 18.

The poster showcased work the group did as part of the Sustainable Cities Initiative, one of three OTREC-supported initiatives. The group presented its work in creating a bicycle infrastructure database for Salem, Ore.

 “Our goal was to create a tool that would help inform and encourage cyclists of all skill and comfort levels,” says Kory. “Our model provides qualitative information about city streets that allows decision makers and citizens to identify streets with high degrees of perceived danger, show where cyclists of varying confidence levels can comfortably ride, and calculate distance-based and comfort-based routing.”

The Region X Student Transportation Conference is a showcase for student transportation research in the Pacific Northwest, which includes Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and Alaska. Region X serves as a microcosm of transportation for the entire country, with a diversity of modes,...

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Jan 03, 2011

The University of Oregon's Sustainable Cities Initiative has hired Metro Councilor Robert Liberty as the program's executive director. Liberty will start in the newly created post Jan. 18.

Liberty currently represents 240,000 residents in northeast, southeast and southwest Portland on the regional government's council, where he has served since 2005.

The Sustainable Cities Initiative is a multi-disciplinary effort to transform higher education with community engagement, interdisciplinary collaboration and sustainability study to influence public policy. The initiative is one of three OTREC-supported initiatives for 2011. This support has helped the initiative blossom, and hiring an exectuive director is indicative of its growth and continuing success.

As executive director, Liberty will build relationships with state and federal policy makers and others to grow the program, which integrates research, education, service and public outreach around issues of sustainable city design.

"Robert's expertise is a great fit for the leadership opportunity we envisioned with the role of executive director," said professor Marc Schlossberg, co-director of the Sustainable Cities Initiative and OTREC...

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Dec 02, 2010

Portland State University transportation engineering students added their expertise to a yearlong effort to help Salem reinvent itself. The Urban Transportation Systems class looked at options to improve bicycle and pedestrian travel in the city’s downtown core.

The effort is part of the Sustainable Cities Initiative, one of three OTREC-funded initiatives. The initiative, led by co-directors Marc Schlossberg and Nico Larco at the University of Oregon, chooses one Oregon city per year to make its classroom, directing coursework to help the city adopt sustainable practices.

This year is the first to include Portland State University’s participation. Students in assistant Professor Chris Monsere’s Civil Engineering 454 class gave presentations Nov. 29 and Dec. 1 on several alternatives to improve bicycle and pedestrian transportation and safety. Projects included:

  • Accommodating the bicycle and pedestrian crossing on Union Street at Commercial Street while considering impacts to automobile traffic
  • Connecting cyclists and pedestrians at the end of the Union Street path at Wallace Road
  • A bicycle and pedestrian route west of Wallace Road
  • Converting selected one-way streets to two-way operation
  • Traffic analysis of options drafted by bicycle advocates for the intersection of Commercial and Liberty streets at Vista Avenue
  • Bicycle...
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Jun 16, 2010

We are pleased to announce our proposal funding decisions for 2010-2011. OTREC received a total of 44 proposals with a request of $4,463,880 for consideration. On June 15th, 22 proposals were selected for funding by the OTREC Executive Committee. We are particularly excited about supporting three initiatives (the Sustainable Cities Initiative, the Oregon Modeling Collaborative, and the Transportation Electrification Initiative) that will help build research and education capacity across our partner institutions that will further our focus on transportation livability and sustainability. You can view the complete list of projects here: http://www.otrec.us/main/projects.php?year=2011