The South Campus Neighborhood Project

The South Campus Neighborhood Project is an award-winning neighborhood improvement planning effort coordinated by the Resilient Cities Initiative at California State University, Chico and the Public Works-Engineering Division at the City of Chico, CA. The project is focused on the public rights-of-way in Chico, California’s South Campus Neighborhood, a six by seven square-block area bound by 2nd Street to the North, 9th Street to the South, Orange Street to the West and Salem Street to the East. Immediately adjacent to both downtown Chico and the University, it is Chico’s oldest residential neighborhood and was laid out by the town’s founder, John Bidwell, in the 1860’s.

The neighborhood today is densely populated with university students and is also home to a number of small businesses, restaurants, bars, churches, community organizations, a school, a fire station, a police station, a railway station and transit center. Given its location, population and mixed uses, the neighborhood faces a unique set of circumstances and challenges. This three-year project aims to assess existing conditions related to a number these circumstances and to develop a neighborhood improvement plan to address them. The existing conditions assessment is focused on neighborhood history and character, the urban forest, transportation, street lighting and criminal activity. The neighborhood improvement plan will focus on concepts for complete streets and public works that enhance public health and safety, quality of life, sense of place and environmental sustainability.


Participating CSU, Chico Courses

spring 2016 - fall 2017

History 105
Global Environmental History
Dr. Tim Sistrunk

English 338
Environmental Rhetoric
Dr. Chris Fosen

Health 370
Drugs in Society
Dr. Joni Meyer

Anthropology 113
Human Cultural Diversity
Dr. David Eaton

Biology 350
Fundamentals of Ecology
Dr. Colleen Hatfield

Geography 411
Geospatial Analysis in GIS
Dr. Dean Fairbanks

Biology 484
Field Ecology
Dr. Amanda Banet

Engineering 302
Environmental Risk & Economic Analysis
Dr. Pablo Cornejo-Warner

Geosciences 365
Environmental Science Applications
Dr. Kristen Kaczynski

Geography 425
Planning Sustainable Communities
Dr. LaDona Knigge

500+ students / 10,000+ hours of student work

8 academic Departments / 4 university colleges

City of Chico Public Works-Engineering

The overall Mission, Vision and Goal of the Public Works-Engineering Division at the City of Chico, CA is to provide the best possible Quality of Life through our abilities to protect, plan, construct and maintain the physical assets of the City. This is achieved through teamwork, integrity, professionalism, innovation, respectful customer service, value to the citizens of Chico, accountability and stewardship of the City’s infrastructure and public resources. We serve the public in a manner that supports the rich heritage of Chico, as well as progressing into future improvements desired by the community in a sustainable manner. We continue to look for new technology that assists in meeting these goals so that we can operate at the most efficient level and continue to be at the leading edge of modern standards.

Our Mission, Vision and Goals include ensuring public safety through detail oriented and strategic improvements to mitigate unsafe operation and use of our Public property; Providing safe, sustainable, integrated and efficient transportation systems to enhance the City of Chico’s economy and livability for all modes of transportation; Efficiently and effectively providing a reliable, sustainable and cost effective sanitary sewer and storm water collection system for our residents and businesses in-line with our overall Mission and Vision. We are stewards of the natural environment and through responsible practices, we construct and maintain our natural environment to the highest of standards. We will continue to make the City of Chico a leader in sustainable and clean practices so that our residents can experience the quality of life that is desired for an infinite length of time.

The Resilient Cities Initiative

The Resilient Cities Initiative (RCI) is an interdisciplinary university-community partnership program established by the Institute for Sustainable Development at California State University, Chico in 2016. The RCI connects real-world community sustainability projects – identified and funded by partner agencies – with faculty expertise and student innovation from departments and disciplines across the University’s academic colleges. The RCI recruits partner agencies through a competitive selection process and matches projects with existing courses across the university’s curricula. Partner agencies are able to harness incredible momentum for their projects in large part because the partnership is realized on a bigger scale than more typical one-off university-community projects. Faculty are able to opt-in and augment their existing curriculum with real-world projects that have been identified, funded and supported by the leadership and staff of the partner agency – ultimately delivering their students’ work for consideration and implementation.

The RCI is a member of the Educational Partnerships for Innovation in Communities (EPIC) Network, a nationwide network of over 25 universities that have replicated the highly successful Sustainable City Year Model that was established at the University of Oregon in 2009. The model is based on university-community partnerships with a defined geographic and temporal scope, focused on advancing sustainability and the social good, leveraging the multidisciplinary knowledge and capacity of the university to ‘move the needle’ on pressing community issues. The RCI directly engages hundreds of CSU, Chico students each academic year, providing impactful opportunities for them to put theory to practice in their own community and region, connecting them with decision-makers and practitioners in their fields of study, and helping develop the next generation of workforce professionals and leaders.


The Institute for Sustainable Development

California State University, Chico