Livable City Year

November 17, 2022

UW Livable City Year program and Pacific County EDC launch new partnership

Every year, students at the University of Washington work with one or more local governments to help create solutions to challenging problems. This year, they’ll study Pacific County. Launching an exciting new partnership, the Livable City Year program and the Pacific County Economic Development Council (PCEDC) will connect UW courses with projects identified by PCEDC related to county planning. This partnership is the beginning of a multiyear relationship that will link UW students and faculty with projects that advance PCEDC’s livability and economic development goals for Pacific County.

The partnership between Livable City Year and PCEDC marks the sixth year for the university-wide program, whose recent partners include the City of Sultan, the City of Bainbridge Island, and King County. Livable City Year connects with local governments over one or more academic years, matching staff-identified projects with courses and students who best align with the work. Students gain the opportunity to solve real-world problems and make meaningful, lasting impact. 

“We’re very excited to kick off this partnership with the Pacific County Economic Development Council,” said faculty co-director Branden Born of UW’s Department of Urban Design and Planning. “It’s a healthy stretch for Livable City Year to work with a partner that’s farther away, and it speaks to our enthusiasm for the projects they have identified. Our mutual excitement and the richness of the opportunities are bringing us together.” 

“Pacific County and Livable City Year have identified seven projects that we are really excited about for this academic year,” said PCEDC Executive Director Susan Yirku. “This partnership will assist the county with important housing planning while providing real-world exposure to UW students in their coursework. I look forward to continuing a very productive partnership and welcoming the students to Pacific County.”

The work with PCEDC has already begun, as students in UW’s Community, Environment, and Planning program conduct research on zoning and housing availability in the county. The first student group will visit Pacific County November 18–20. For the rest of the year, PCEDC staff will continue to work with LCY to identify and advance projects that can benefit from student work and connect those projects with UW classes. More information about the seven identified projects is available here.

The UW’s Livable City Year program is led by faculty directors Branden Born with the Department of Urban Design and Planning and Jennifer Otten with the School of Public Health. The program works in collaboration with UW Sustainability and Urban@UW, with foundational support from the College of Built Environments, Undergraduate Academic Affairs, and the Association of Washington Cities. LCY is a member of the Educational Partners for Innovation in Communities Network (EPIC-N), which provides resources and connections for schools with similar programs.

PCEDC’s public and private partners share the goal of becoming a prosperous county, preserving natural resources, and optimizing Pacific County’s business environment. PCEDC supports efforts to increase community vitality, economic prosperity, environmental quality, and social fairness in Pacific County. 


Contact: Susan Yirku, Executive Director

Pacific County Economic Development Council (PCEDC)


Contact: Alison Lorenz, Assistant Program Manager

University of Washington Livable City Year