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Branden Born serves as EPIC-N Board Member to help partnerships everywhere succeed

Branden Born

Faculty Co-Director, and Associate Professor, Urban Design & Planning
Livable City Year University of Washington
University of Washington

Meet EPIC-Network board of director Branden Born, Ph.D! Branden joined the board in July of 2018. He co-directs the University of Washington’s Livable City Year program which is an EPIC-N Member Program while serving as a faculty. Read on to learn more about Branden!

Favorite Place

Pike Place Market. One of the great community spaces in the US. From fresh fish and veggies to handcrafted goods and great eating and people watching. 

What was your first interaction with a school-community partnership project? 

Speaking specifically to our first LCY project with UW and Auburn, Washington: it was a wild ride. Lots of great energy on both sides–community partners and classes. We had to make up a lot as we went along, and would say we were not only building the plane as we flew it, but Auburn was building the runway as we approached. We saw projects be very successful, and one (of 17) not so much, but overall it was a very rewarding experience for the UW side, and valuable for the Auburn side. We made some very good relationships in Auburn, and look forward to working with them in the future. 

How did you first learn about EPIC-N?

I’d been following the Oregon SCYP since its inception through ACSP conferences and such.

What is your favorite part of the EPIC-Network

The openness of participants to share information and support each other. There is so much knowledge in the network, and programs/people aren’t protective of it–they share it. What a concept: wanting partners to succeed! 

What do you want a community, or university, to know about the EPIC-Network?

We can collectively solve almost any problem. So many schools and so many communities have worked together: if there’s a challenge, we’ve probably seen it before and can come together to find a solution. The Network represents an enormous resource or support network for a model that itself is a tremendous resource matching university capacity with community needs.


Branden is associate professor of Urban Design and Planning and co-director of the Livable City Year program at the University of Washington. He received his master’s and doctoral degrees and in Urban and Regional Planning from the University of Wisconsin. Branden studies planning process and regional governance using the food system as a lens for analysis. His interests include questions of democracy in societal decision-making and the role of the state and planning in a neoliberal context.

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