PLACE (2017-2019)


Completed Projects


Leadership for Social Justice (JPST 365)Mike Klein
Fall 2019

Students will explore the stories of PLACE and residents through social justice lenses.  Students will also collaborate with SCP Artist-in-Residence to translate their research into artwork.  

See completed artwork by Sarah Nelson, SCP Artist-in-Residence:

PLACE & Urban Ecosystem Ecology (BIOL 490), Chip Small
J-term 2019

PLACE’s Via development in St. Louis Park, MN encompasses multiple sustainability goals, including social, economic, and ecological dimensions.  PLACE would like to calculate the carbon footprint of Via residents.  However, current carbon footprint calculators do not take into account the multiple dimensions of sustainability and affordable living that PLACE has integrated into their development.  Students in Urban Ecosystem Ecology will create a carbon footprint calculator capable of integrating these multiple dimensions that can be compared to standard carbon footprint calculators.  This will enable PLACE to quantify the difference in carbon footprint that living at their development can make for people. 

Students will also collaborate with SCP Artist-in-Residence Sarah Nelson to co-create icons that convey students' findings for carbon savings that living at PLACE creates.  The illustrations will be displayed at PLACE’s Via development to promote residents' awareness of actions to promote these possibilities.

Construction and Engineering Economic Analysis (ENGR 362), Deb Besser
Fall 2018

PLACE’s Via development in St. Louis Park, MN will be a “mixed-use, mixed-income, transit-oriented community demonstrating profound environmental design.”  The Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure has developed Envision criteria to assess the design, construction, and operations of infrastructure.  The Envision rating system consists of  “60 sustainability criteria that address the full range of environmental, social, and economic impacts to sustainability in project design, construction, and operation.”  Students in Construction and Engineering Economic Analysis will conduct an assessment of the Via development using the Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure’s Envision criteria, analyzing and communicating how the Via development achieves various criteria.  This rating will provide a powerful framework to communicate about the innovative design of the Via development.  Students will also provide recommendations regarding actions to increase sustainability in this and future developments.

Law and Economics (ECON 321), Monica Hartmann
Fall 2018

In collaboration with PLACE, students will select research topics to explore issues of funding and policy for affordable living relevant to the Via development and PLACE's future development goals.

Managerial Decision Making (ECON 401)Monica Hartmann
Spring 2018

PLACE’s EcoVillage development in St. Louis Park, MN includes multiple components:  affordable and market-rate housing, an e-generation facility, live/work spaces, an urban forest, and a boutique hotel. Lenders often perceive multiple elements in a development as increasing risk, rather than distributing or managing risk. Students will analyze the multiple elements of the EcoVillage and provide recommendations to PLACE to better communicate to lenders the economic benefits and costs of their development proposal.

Systems Analysis and Design II (CISC 321), Tim Meyer
Spring 2018

PLACE would like to encourage residents to engage in sustainable behaviors and to create community at the same time. Using a user-centered design approach, CISC 321 students will design a prototype EcoVillage ‘Energy Champion’ app to encourage energy conservation and create community through friendly competition.

Environmental Problem Solving (ESCI 310)Chip Small
Spring 2018

PLACE would like to analyze of how well current operations and future design ideas meet their sustainability goals. Students will model several different sustainability objectives through coupled economic/energetic/mass balance models to analyze how goals are currently being met and recommendations to better meet goals.

Economics of the Public Sector (ECON 337), Matthew Kim
Fall 2017

Students will analyze variables included in traditional affordable housing models in comparison with systems-based affordable living models to provide the building blocks for further economic analysis and public policy questions for courses to explore in collaboration with PLACE.