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PSU Students win 2017 AICP Student Project Award
Author: TREC
Posted: March 20, 2017

Hilltop Planning, a group of students from the Master of Urban and Regional Planning (MURP) program at Portland State University, received a 2017 Student Project Award from the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP) for their Planning Workshop project, OHSU Night Access Plan.

The plan was the subject of a PSU seminar last spring, and the group took third prize in NITC's 2016 student video contest with this short video about the Night Access Plan.

They are presenting the project today in the first breakout session at the 2017 Oregon Active Transportation Summit.

The student team members are David Backes, Lea Anderson, Shane Valle, Rae-Leigh Stark, Taylor Phillips, and Abe Moland, and faculty advisers included Ethan Seltzer, Marisa Zapata and Susan Hartnett. The students will be recognized in May at the 2017 American Planning Association National Planning Conference in New York City.

The OHSU Night Access Plan lays out a strategy to make getting to and from Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) at night and early in the morning safer, more convenient, and affordable.

Employees who work during these hours have fewer transportation options than daytime workers do. Since many of these employees work the least favorable shifts because they are new or have lower incomes, they are even more disadvantaged than those traveling during daytime hours. The Night Access plan seeks to make sure these employees are served by transportation options when they need them.

Each year, MURP workshop students work with community clients to develop projects that are problem‐centered, require the development and evaluation of alternatives, result in a recommended course of action, and depend on direct community participation.

This is the seventh time in the last 11 years that a PSU student project has won a national award from AICP, more than any other planning program in the United States.

Last year, MURP students received an AICP Student Project Award for their project Fourth Plain Forward: An Action Plan for Vancouver's Multicultural Business District, which the City of Vancouver has since adopted as a multi-year initiative to improve the portion of East Fourth Plain Boulevard known as Vancouver’s “international business district.”