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Alabama City Year Program

Group ~ Auburn University, Auburn, Alabama

The Alabama City Year Program (ACYP) is managed by the Master of Community Planning (MCP), whose mission is to educate students to become outstanding professionals by partnering them with communities in Alabama and the Southeast.  The program offers real-world experiential learning to planning students, who serve local communities by providing specialized planning services and resources to underserved communities.   

Each year, MCP faculty members identify a community partner and meet in advance with the community to discuss and assess needs, formulate project details, and define a scope of work. Community needs and interests are specifically addressed in a variety of classes, such as urban economics, land use planning, urban design, sustainable transportation planning, community development, historic preservation planning, and the plan-making (capstone) studio.

The sustainability plans that result improve and protect community quality of life, culture, resource base, built and natural environments, and economic vitality.  In the process, students build portfolios of work and professional networks while serving MCP’s outreach mission and sustainability focus.  

Previous City Year Program projects have produced concepts and plans on such topics as rails-to-trails, downtown revitalization, affordable housing, historical interpretation, brownfield redevelopment, community strategic plans, complete streets redesigns, and more.  Many student projects can be viewed on the ACYP website: 

Representatives of the Alabama City Year Program with their award

Left to right: Sweta Byahut, Binita Mahato, and Megan Heim LaFrombois

Missing in the picture, but also awarded MCP faculty: Jay Mittal and Becki Retzlaff