The University of Minnesota’s Resilient Communities Project (RCP) recently announced that Ramsey County and Scott County will be its community partners for the 2018–2019 academic year. It’s the first time in the six-year history of the program that RCP will assist two partners in the same year.
RCP, housed within the U of M’s Center for Urban and Regional Affairs, seeks to connect students’ innovation, ingenuity, and fresh perspectives with local government agencies to learn about their needs, conduct research, and develop solutions. In the coming months, staff will define the scope and purpose of individual projects before matching them with courses offered at the University in fall 2018 and spring 2019.
“We’re very excited about our upcoming collaborations with Scott and Ramsey Counties,” said RCP’s director Mike Greco. “Each community brings to the table a unique set of issues and projects. Working with staff, residents, and other partners in these communities will provide U of M students with incredible experiential learning opportunities, while increasing each county’s capacity to remain resilient in the face of rapid economic, social, and environmental changes.”
Ramsey County’s proposal identified up to 18 potential projects, including removing transportation barriers to employment and exploring innovative stormwater management practices. Scott County’s proposal identified 14 potential projects, including planning for autonomous vehicles and promoting active living.
Beginning in September, the University and the counties will collaborate on more than a dozen multidisciplinary projects to advance resilience and sustainability.
Once paired, counties can enhance their capacity to address complex issues by gaining access to thousands of hours of research from hundreds of students and faculty in a wide range of programs and disciplines—from architecture, planning and engineering, to business, environmental sciences and the humanities. Students will present their findings and recommendations at the conclusion of the semester.
Adapted from an RCP news release about the partnership.