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The profiles in this issue highlight the many ways PSU researchers are helping to make Portland and other cities greener, more livable, and smarter. Several of the projects, including ones dealing with the urban heat island, green infrastructure, the food economy, air quality, and transportation, are funded in part by the Portland Climate Action Collaborative, a path-breaking program through which PSU faculty and students work on problems prioritized by Portland’s Bureau of Planning and Sustainability. The Seattle-based Bullitt Foundation and PSU’s Institute for Sustainable Solutions jointly fund the Collaborative.

A few of the stories also describe how PSU faculty and graduate students are participating in a major national effort, led by the White House’s Office of Science and Technology Policy, called the MetroLab Network, which brings together teams of urban universities and city agencies to speed the development and deployment of smart city projects. The diverse Portland team includes several city departments, as well as TriMet, Intel, the Technology Association of Oregon, CH2M Hill, and DK Associates, among others.

These urban projects, along with others described in this issue concerning a major grant to support the study of e-cigarettes, and a video technique for speeding up professional training, have several things in common. They are highly interdisciplinary, co-developed with off-campus partners, and comprised of teams that include faculty, postdocs, and graduate students. They have the common goal of making lessons we learn in Portland relevant to cities around the world.

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Portland State University

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Research & Strategic Partnerships: Quarterly Review, Volume 2, Issue 4