Educational partnerships for innovation in communities (EPIC): Harnessing university resources to create change

Marc Schlossberg, Nico Larco, Carissa S. Slotterback, Charles Connerly, Mike Greco

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

8 Scopus citations


University–community collaborations, that is partnerships between universities and community organizations, cities, etc., have significant potential to advance both, education and urban innovation. Urban areas face a number of constraints in identifying and advancing innovations as city and community leaders may lack access to the latest scientific evidence and examples of best practice. Additionally, administrative structures can hinder interdisciplinary interactions between departments and the nature of decision-making in the urban political context overall tends to contribute to a culture of risk aversion that undermines creative problem solving. Universities can help communities address these challenges by channeling the work of faculty and students to critical problems and opportunities facing urban areas while at the same time universities and their faculty and students benefit from engagement with the realities of urban planning and decision-making. In 2009, a new, unique, large-scale, and purposeful university–community partnership program was developed at the University of Oregon to help bridge the city–university gap and in 2016 over twenty-five other universities have subsequently adopted and adapted what is now known as an “Educational Partnership for Innovation in Communities (EPIC)” framework. This chapter describes the replicable framework and highlights three university-based programs, all of which include substantial engagement of urban planning programs. Further, the chapter makes the case for campus and societal leadership by planning educators and programs across the globe.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationUrban Book Series
Number of pages18
StatePublished - 2018

Publication series

NameUrban Book Series
ISSN (Print)2365-757X
ISSN (Electronic)2365-7588

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Springer International Publishing AG 2018.


  • Engaged learning
  • Planning education
  • Resiliency
  • Social innovation
  • Sustainability
  • University–community partnerships


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