University of Washington


University of Washington
Livable City Year
Case Type
Program Stories
School Size
Greater than 40,000
Focus Areas
Democratic Governance, Economic and Social Inclusion, Environment Sustainability
Architecture, Business Analytics, Communication Leadership, Design, Economic Development, Engineering, Environmental and Forest Sciences, Housing, IT, Landscape Architecture, Law, Public Affairs, Public Health, Public Policy, Real Estate, Transportation Engineering, Urban Design and Planning, Web Design

Livable City Year

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Livable City Year (LCY) links University of Washington students and faculty with a Washington city, county, tribe, or special district, engaging faculty and students across the university to address the community partner’s sustainability and livability goals. The program helps its community partners accomplish critical projects in an affordable way while providing opportunities for students to learn through real-life problem solving. LCY works with communities of all sizes and budgets, and our partnerships can have a broad range of timelines and scopes based on partner needs.

The program’s inaugural partnership with the City of Auburn during the 2016-2017 school year engaged more than 160 students working on 17 projects in the fields of urban design and planning, public health, sociology, environmental studies, and business.

The initial year was a success thanks to the collaboration, guidance and feedback of Auburn city staff and decision-makers who helped shape the learning experience for UW undergraduate and graduate students. The partnership provided Auburn with research, analysis and recommendations, the result of more than 19,000 hours of student work. The relationship will continue as UW and Auburn assess the program’s lasting impact and benefits to the community.

In 2017-2018 the LCY program partnered with the City of Tacoma, building upon the city’s existing relationships with UW Tacoma. The program then partnered with the City of Bellevue in 2018-2019, and with the City of Sultan and King County in 2019-2020. During the pandemic year of 2020-2021, the program continued its partnership with the City of Sultan and initiated a new partnership with the City of Lynnwood.

Fun Facts about LCY

“The dedication that UW students put toward the partnership with Auburn is beyond compare,” Auburn Mayor Nancy Backus said. “Each project they took on addressed a unique facet of Auburn, and gave us both results and starting points to address needs and improvements in our community. The partnership through the LCY program is one that has built a bridge between Auburn and the University of Washington which will continue long beyond this single year.”

Year Program Established | 2016
Country | US
Federal Region of Program | 10

Public or Private Institution | Public
Number of students at institution | 31,041 undergrad, 16,530 grad

Highlight Articles/Videos

UW Livable City Year program announces partnership opportunities for 2021-2022 academic year

Opportunities for communities to work with UW to address COVID-19

UW’s Livable City Year Program announces new opportunities for small cities

Livable City Year concludes partnership with City of Bellevue

Bellevue named national “Outstanding Community Partner”

Livable City Year and Tacoma finalize partnership

University of Washington’s Livable City Year program completes inaugural partnership with Auburn

City Partners

2016-2017 | Auburn • Population: 77,472
2017-2018 | Tacoma • Population: 211,277
2018-2019 | Bellevue • Population: 144,403
2019-2020 | Sultan • Population: 5,166
2019-2020 | King County • Population: 2.253 million
2020-2021 | Sultan • Population: 5,166
2020-2021 | Lynnwood • Population: 38,143

Contact Info

Teri Thomson Randall
Program Manager
(206) 221-9240

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