ASU Urban planning students receive APA AZ Chapter Award

We are excited to announce that the “Preliminary Housing Analysis & ADU Policy Recommendations for Peoria, AZ” project has received the 2021 “Student Planning Project” Chapter Award with the Arizona Planning Association! Meagan Ehlenz’s PUP 580 Planning Workshop and Deirdre Pfeiffer’s PUP 525 Urban Housing Issues class worked in conjunction with each other to research two affordable housing challenges in Peoria: a needs assessment and a policy strategy for Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) ordinances. The collaboration between the two classes in ASU’s School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning resulted in meaningful outputs, including peer community research, data analysis, development of design and policy standards, and the collection of public input, to help Peoria’s tackle their complex housing challenges.

“Our project responds to the growing challenge of housing affordability in the valley, by providing knowledge and solutions to the City of Peoria as it plans to meet the housing needs of diverse residents across their life cycles” Deirdre Pfeiffer

Students from the Urban Housing Issues course studied Peoria’s existing housing market, focusing on resident demographics and housing needs, while students from the Planning Workshop looked to the future with a unique intervention opportunity for affordable housing: ADUs. ADUs provide an opportunity for affordable housing by allowing homeowners to rent out the additional living units on their properties, such as a guest house which can improve accessibility and affordability in Peoria’s housing market. Students conducted peer community assessments and literature reviews to identify ADU zoning policy best practices and provided recommendations for future planning efforts.

“The strength of the student works is really rooted in the way that the two plans integrated together for the City of Peoria…these two plans come together to help inform the city about not just where they are right now, but where they could be going” Meagan Ehlenz

Students from Meagan Ehlenz’s PUP 580 Planning Workshop class also conducted a focus group with the City of Peoria’s Planning and Zoning Commission to discuss opportunities for ADU’s in March 2021. Read the brief for that presentation Read the brief for that public engagement here.

Congratulations to the students and faculty that worked on this project. Your hard work has paid off in a distinction to be proud of and an educational experience you won’t soon forget. Go celebrate a little this weekend- you’ve earned it!

We also congratulate the City of Peoria for being a big part of this win. We appreciate you all for being champions for ASU, and we value your continued support and advancement of project-based learning at ASU.

Project Cities is a member of the Educational Partnerships for Innovation in Communities Network (EPIC-N) and is administered by ASU’s Julie Ann Wrigley Global Futures Laboratory and the Sustainable Cities Network. Stay up to date with Project Cities and the Sustainable Cities Network by following us on social media or subscribing to our newsletter.