Robert Liberty is revving up for a new challenge

Robert Liberty

Loeb alum Robert Liberty writes with news of his new post leading an exciting program at Portland State University – the Urban Sustainability Accelerator - that takes advantage of his prodigious experience in the sustainability arena.

“After 18 months as director of the Sustainable Cities Initiative at the University of Oregon (and unsustainably commuting each week between Portland and Eugene) I am making a transition this fall to a new project at Portland State University.  I enjoyed my time at the U of O, including the opportunity to see and learn about urbanization in China and to help cities in Oregon become more sustainable.

“At PSU, I will be directing a pilot project we are calling the Urban Sustainability Accelerator.   (This will allow us to chant "USA! USA!" at our gatherings.)  This project, funded by the Summit Foundation and the Institute for Sustainable Solutions at PSU, is being established to help smaller and mid-sized urban areas implement sustainability projects.

“We will be different from many other sustainability assistance programs because we focus on helping cities move their proposals from concept to reality rather than on education or adoption, and we provide assistance and support for a year (or more). Since our aims require not only technical assistance but also strategic advice to overcome political and administrative challenges, we will include the private and nonprofit sectors in the hard work of implementation. In addition, we will emphasize the creation of a learning cohort among the six to eight urban areas that will participate each year.

“During the first year of the pilot project, the costs of participation for the city will be very modest, possibly just the costs of travel and lodging for two convenings in Portland, at the beginning and end of the year.

“We are eager to hear from people who might be interested in participating. Best wishes to all the Loeb alumni and many, many thanks for the work all of you are doing to make our cities more livable, more lovable and more sustainable.”

Liberty has been invited to give the annual Norman Williams Lecture at the Vermont Law School in early February – not too far from Boston for those who want to hear more about his important work.

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