Sustainable Cities and the Public Good

This community is full for fall 2024.

What is the Sustainable Cities and the Public Good community?

Sponsored by the UO’s School of Planning, Public Policy and Management (PPPM), this ARC gets students involved in creating more sustainable communities, an inherently multi-disciplinary, multi-sector, social-change oriented endeavor. Where and how our communities are designed and function are not fixed, and through the lenses of city planning, public policy, and nonprofit leadership, we will explore how the overlapping issues of climate change, structural inequality, household affordability, social cohesion, public health, and general happiness can be addressed through both the physical design of our communities and the policies and services that help influence and improve community life.

We will use evidence-based scholarship to understand issues and engage directly with the community around us, as well as community leaders, to learn how to make actual progress on today’s vexing issues. Throughout all of this, our focus is on the steps that cities can take. This is the century of the city and if we want to fix big things we need to get our cities done right.

This ARC will be highly immersive, relate to our current world, and will use the Eugene-Springfield community as a living laboratory of exploration, learning, and fun. While building a community of our own, we will also build community across our region as we explore locations, organizations, and modes of transport to understand how the form and function of a sustainable community could be created.

What are the benefits of living in this community?

  • We focus on issues directly relevant to our everyday lives.
  • We have an applied focus, meaning we don’t just dwell on the problems of the world, but explore what can be—and is being—done about them.
  • We will learn by doing. Walking, biking, and transit trips around town will introduce us to local professionals, examples, and the larger area—while having fun.
  • Direct access to PPPM faculty members and staff, as well as faculty members from many different areas of study.
  • Have fun while learning: scavenger hunts, movie nights, and more are all used to have fun, build community, and learn. 

What are the community expectations?

ARC community members are expected to be sincerely interested in improving the quality of the places we live. As such, you are expected to treat other ARC members respectfully, take seriously our engaged activities, help build the quality of the ARC for future members, and to have fun while learning and engaging with some other amazing human beings. In addition to all of that, you will be expected to take two introductory classes in city planning and the nonprofit sector, as well as taking two 2-credit ARC classes your first year where we more informally engage with a variety of issues and topics.


Residence Hall: Unthank Hall. Students living in this community will select roommates who are also in the community.

Please note that communities can be moved to different residence hall buildings if the size or need of the community changes.

For more information, contact

Who is eligible and how do I apply?

Students interested in seeking solutions to some of society’s most pressing challenges such as climate change, social inequity, household affordability, public health, social cohesion, and more should consider this ARC. Students who are action-oriented and want to be part of the solution are welcome to apply to this community.

  1. Register for University Housing and select the community you prefer in the "Community Preference" section.
  2. Answer the community questions on your housing registration.

Completed community applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis until May 1. Wait lists for communities will close May 15.

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