Students’ smart city ideas to help Spokane redevelopment

u-districtPULLMAN, Wash. – WSU students are using emerging smart technology ideas this semester in their designs for the future of Spokane’s university district. Lectures, workshops and community engagement will culminate in public presentations later this fall.

“We want to investigate how we can use smart technology ideas to facilitate resource management, build community and promote health and wellbeing in a city,’’ said Steve Austin, a landscape architecture instructor in the WSU School of Design and Construction.

Approximately 40 graduate and undergraduate students will be working with Spokane’s nonprofit University District Development Association and the Spokane Smart City Technology Accelerator Group to incorporate smart city ideas like interactive environments and data-driven decision making. Other partners are Avista and industry leaders in smart cities technology, including Itron and Cisco.

The university district is an area of universities and businesses north of I-90 and east of Division Street that provides a unique opportunity for economic growth in a highly desirable location.

“The area is poised to become a leader for smart city technologies that promise a more livable and vibrant city,” said Darrin Griechen, WSU clinical assistant professor. “We should engage design, engineering and computer science to find solutions to make life better, more pleasurable and more resilient.” ‬

Students and instructors will collaborate and coordinate across several disciplines including architecture, interior design and landscape architecture, said Austin.


Steve Austin, WSU School of Design & Construction, 859-473-3880,
Brett Stav, WSU Voiland College of Engineering & Architecture communications, 509-335-8189,