Livable City Year

June 4, 2019

Livable City Year celebrates partnership with city of Bellevue

group discussing projects at the LCY/Bellevue celebration eventThis year’s Livable City Year partnership with the City of Bellevue mobilized 285 students from a variety of schools and colleges, representing all three UW campuses, to work on 30 projects in the city. The students’ research, findings and recommendations were on display at a celebration at Bellevue City Hall on Monday, June 3.

The Bellevue City Council, residents and others in attendance saw posters summarizing the work and were able to discuss them with students and faculty who worked on the projects.

“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.”

Projects focused on livability and sustainability, such as a small business incubator, food truck permitting and neighborhood planning. Other projects included:

  • For trail-oriented development, a team from UW’s Community, Environment and Planning is recommending policies and code changes to could facilitate placemaking next to trails.
  • UW Urban Design and Planning developed an urban design image gallery permit applicants could consult for examples that meet city code requirements and stress livability for pedestrians.
  • UW Landscape Architecture offered impressive ideas for a redesign of the Wetland Sun Terraced Garden at the Bellevue Botanical Garden.
  • A team from the UW Industrial and Systems Engineering program developed a model to make winter weather plow routes more efficient and cost-effective.

“The UW’s Livable City Year in Bellevue has been a wonderful example of the good that comes from innovative and motivated students collaborating with a community to address real-world challenges,” said UW President Ana Mari Cauce. “They’ve demonstrated how experiential and project-based learning helps students learn and honors our public service mission. 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.”

“This year’s partnership with Bellevue gave UW students an opportunity to work on projects addressing a broad spectrum of topics that will have real impact on the city’s residents. Bellevue was a great partner,” said LCY co-director Jennifer Otten, associate professor in Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences.

The University of Washington Livable City Year program selected Bellevue to be its community partner for the 2018-2019 academic year, following partnerships with the cities of Auburn and Tacoma the previous two years.

At the June 3 event, posters summarized each project and results, with students and faculty on hand. Mayor John Chelminiak and Sally Clark, director of UW regional and community relations, both spoke.


Crowd at the LCY Bellevue celebration event