CityLabs

by Jason Maher | Apr 03, 2013
| 1 Comment

Summary:

CityLabs is a large-scale, coordinated effort that puts hundreds of college students to work improving Saint Paul. One million dollars will fund CityLabs for a decade: this will translate to more than 50 different projects, completed by 500-750 college students who will dedicate more than 10,000 hours to enhancing, strengthening, and beautifying Saint Paul.

The concept is simple:

• First, city residents, community organizations, and city staff identify Saint Paul’s most pressing needs related to urban sustainability—social, economic, and environmental.
• Second, city staff help turn those needs into specific projects.
• Third, those projects are matched with expert faculty teaching relevant courses across college campuses, who embed the projects into students’ course work.
• Fourth, students and faculty complete research, analysis, and community outreach, then provide recommendations for sustainable solutions. Project outcomes are presented to city residents, staff, and organizers.

Through CityLabs, Saint Paul advances its sustainability initiatives, students gain experience working on real issues, and Twin Cities residents and businesses are rewarded with a more livable and resilient future.

About You

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About You

First Name

Jason

Last Name

Maher

City

Saint Paul

County

Ramsey

Country

United States, MN, Ramsey County

Website (if you have one)

Names of others who helped contribute to my idea

Carole Chabries, Stephanie Zimmerman

How did you hear about the Forever Saint Paul Challenge?

City of St. Paul staff

About Your Organization (if applicable)

Organization Name (if applicable)

CityLabs at ACTC

Organization Phone

651-556-1863

Organization Address

570 Asbury Street, Suite 109

City

Saint Paul

Organization Country

United States, MN, Ramsey County

Your idea

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Title of your idea

CityLabs

Give us the highlights of your idea for making Saint Paul great (2,000 characters maximum or approx. 250 words)

CityLabs is a large-scale, coordinated effort that puts hundreds of college students to work improving Saint Paul. One million dollars will fund CityLabs for a decade: this will translate to more than 50 different projects, completed by 500-750 college students who will dedicate more than 10,000 hours to enhancing, strengthening, and beautifying Saint Paul.
The concept is simple:
• First, city residents, community organizations, and city staff identify Saint Paul’s most pressing needs related to urban sustainability—social, economic, and environmental.
• Second, city staff help turn those needs into specific projects.
• Third, those projects are matched with expert faculty teaching relevant courses across college campuses, who embed the projects into students’ course work.
• Fourth, students and faculty complete research, analysis, and community outreach, then provide recommendations for sustainable solutions. Project outcomes are presented to city residents, staff, and organizers.
Through CityLabs, Saint Paul advances its sustainability initiatives, students gain experience working on real issues, and Twin Cities residents and businesses are rewarded with a more livable and resilient future.

Website address (if applicable)

Innovation

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What makes your idea different or unexpected? (4000 characters maximum or approx. 500 words)

CityLabs is different because it is so comprehensive. It is the only program in the state that pulls together and coordinates efforts across multiple colleges and universities and then focuses all of that student and faculty energy into one organization—in this case, the City of Saint Paul.

CityLabs also distinguishes itself by serving as a forum for innovation. We convene residents, community organizations, and city staff to foster creative thinking and problem-solving; these conversations help us unearth the dynamic initiatives that excite the community and help create a sense of investment in projects’ successful completion.

Impact

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This Entry is about (Issues)

How will your idea make a difference in Saint Paul? (4000 characters maximum or approx. 500 words)

CityLabs projects make direct, visible, and exciting change. Our pilot projects have focused on:

• Eye-catching designs promoting clean water. Graphic design students created campaigns for Saint Paul Public Works. View our video!
• Safer parks. Students developed a volunteer-led park patrol program for Saint Paul Parks and Recreation.
• Making the most of compost. Students in urban ecology are helping assess whether community gardens could become neighborhood compost drop-off sites.

In the long run, CityLabs will create more engaged citizens. Residents and community organizations will have a coordinated way to partner with city staff on advancing our shared goals for livability, while hundreds of students engaged in CityLabs will develop stronger connections to the city.

Sustainability

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Why do you think people will recognize or remember your idea after it comes to life? How might it inspire others to do something similar in their community? (4000 characters maximum or approx. 500 words)

CityLabs projects will be visible in every corner of Saint Paul. We will see curb markers featuring student designs next to storm drains; serve on volunteer park patrols made possible by student research and planning; and use student-designed forms and materials to engage more easily and simply with our city government.

CityLabs will also inspire similar programs in our neighboring cities and towns. Our shared successes will inspire other regions to build partnerships that cross city governments, community organizations, and colleges and universities.

We believe that Saint Paul can establish a niche as the primary city in the country to use coordinated civic engagement as a fulcrum for advancing the City’s livability initiatives.

bhjhgj hgjjg said: Laboratories must be able to have better outlook like having the complete instruments. - Integrity Spas about this Competition Entry. - 2462 days ago read more >

Jason Maher updated this Competition Entry. - 2684 days ago

Jason Maher submitted this idea. - 2684 days ago