The City of Bellevue and University of Washington students and faculty have released the results of a year-long partnership that aimed to address more than two-dozen city-identified, high-priority projects focused on environmental sustainability, economic viability, population health, and social inclusion.

The UW Living City Year program allowed 285 students from multiple UW schools, colleges, and campuses to provide City of Bellevue staff with new planning and policy ideas, such as a small-business incubator, food truck permitting and neighborhood planning, trailside placemaking, a model for more efficient and cost-effective winter weather plow routes, redesign plans for the Wetland Sun Terraced Garden at the Bellevue Botanical Garden, and many others.

“This has been an outstanding partnership for the City of Bellevue,” Mayor John Chelminiak said. “The knowledge, research, and energy the University of Washington participants brought to bear on our civic challenges is invaluable. Their recommendations reflect solid research and out-of-the-box thinking.”

The ideas and findings were shared with Bellevue City Council and local residents during a public meeting on June 3 at City Hall.

According to organizers, students benefit by learning about communities and tackling real-world challenges, while partner cities benefit from bold and applied ideas that aim to inspire fresh thinking, improved livability for residents, and invigorated city staff.

UW President Ana Mari Cauce noted the program is a wonderful example of real-world community collaboration and experiential project-based learning, adding, “We are grateful to the city of Bellevue for their engagement and partnership, and we can’t wait to see how these proposals bear fruit in the future.”

More information about the program is available online here.

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Thumbnail photo courtesy of the City of Bellevue