A Model for Public-Private-Academic Partnership

Supporting Climate Planning Imperatives in Cities

  • Courtney Crosson University of Arizona


As cities are pushed to the forefront of global climate leadership, long-range urban design and planning are increasingly urgent, yet municipalities face resource constraints. This paper provides a replicable model for academia to join with practice and local governments to fill this resource gap. This paper examines the case of a public-private-academic partnership (PPAP) formed between GLHN Architects & Engineers; the staff of the City of Tucson, Arizona; and the University of Arizona (UA). Led through an UA upper-level interdisciplinary design studio, the partnership used spatial mapping, quantitative analysis, and design inquiry to create a plan to achieve year 2050 carbon and water neutrality targets without sacrificing either livability or projected growth in downtown Tucson, Arizona. The case study demonstrates that the PPAP model can (1) marshal the necessary resources and expertise toward climate planning when small and medium size cities face resource constraints and (2) prepare the next generation of urban planners and designers with the analytical and design skills to leverage local expertise for climate planning, action, and monitoring. The Tucson model has secured multiyear investment from private and public partners as a result of the phase one work and has won awards for education (Arizona Forward’s State Educator Award), design (Arizona AIA State Design Award for Regional and Urban Planning), and leadership (ACSA/AIA National Practice and Leadership Award).

How to Cite
Crosson, C. (2018). A Model for Public-Private-Academic Partnership. ARCC Conference Repository. https://doi.org/10.17831/rep:arcc%y479