To learn more about these projects or discuss how to integrate a project into a UMN course or an individual student project (such as a culminating experience, capstone, master’s project, or independent study), please contact RCP staff Sarah Tschida or Mike Greco at


Creating a Community Land Trust in Scott County (PDF iconPDF)
Project Lead: Linda Janovsky, Scott County CDA
Project Goal: Explore best models and approaches to creating a Community Land Trust (CLT) in Scott county; gauge demand, research best practices for affordability, assess benefits of CLT programs for families, research public-private models and potential funding sources, implementation, and marketing ideas.


Investigating Alternative Methods for Property Assessment (PDF iconPDF)
Project Lead: Michael Thompson, Scott County Assessor
Project Goal: Assess effectiveness of current property assessment methods, research areas that have implemented alternative property assessment methods to compare and contrast, research savings associated with alternative assessment methods, and propose policy changes to ensure, if new standards are adopted, they are able to be utilized in the future.


Creating an Edible Landscape (PDF iconPDF)
Project Lead: Jamie Bachaus, SHIP Community Planner
Project Goal: Identify the feasibility and begin planning for a Food Forest at a city or regional park or other publically-owned land that would contain low-maintenance sustainable plant-based food production.


Diversifying Agricultural Land with Perennial Crops (PDF iconPDF)
Project Lead: Paul Nelson, County Natural Resources Manager
Project Goal: Explore the potential for perennial food crops that can both provide the benefits of living cover and produce an economic return that would potentially incentivize greater participation by farmers.


Managing Next Generation Household Waste (PDF iconPDF)
Project Lead: Kate Sedlacek, County Environmental Health Manager
Project Goal: Provide information and analysis that can inform planning for future household waste management. Projections of future demand for HHW facilities, research on demographic use to pinpoint populations or areas not utilizing the service, recommendations for both outreach and future growth.


Open Self-Serve Library Feasibility Assessment (PDF iconPDF)
Project Lead: Lisa Motschke, Scott County Library
Project Goal: Assess the feasibility of creating an “open library” facility in the Scott County Library System by assessing community interest, technical and operation requirements, best models and practices, possible locations or needed re-designs, and benefits and impacts of an open library service.


Integrating Early Childhood Data (PDF iconPDF)
Project Lead: Jake Grussing, Co. Library Director
Project Goal: Conducting an early learning program and data inventory and providing recommendations for potential multi-system data integration; research what programs exist, what data is available for tracking development, how is that data being shared and how can this be improved, and what other data integration models are being successfully used elsewhere.


Fostering Employer-Assisted Workforce Housing (PDF iconPDF)
Project Lead: Julie Siegert, Scott County CDA
Project Goal: Analyze different Employer Assisted Housing (EAH) models to determine effectiveness at attracting and retaining a workforce and identify specific businesses or business sectors in Scott County that would benefit from and potentially participate in an EAH initiative in the county.


Increasing Landlord Participation in Rental Assistance Programs (PDF iconPDF)
Project Lead: Melissa Hanson, Scott County CDA
Project Goal: Discover the barriers that discourage rental property owners and managers in Scott County from accepting Section 8 vouchers, identify opportunities to correct misinformation or misperceptions of the program or the people who participate in it, create a marketing strategy to encourage greater rental property owner and manager participation in the program in the future, and identifying other strategies to increase access to affordable housing in Scott County.


Planning for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles (PDF iconPDF)
Project Lead: Allison Futhey, Highway Engineer
Project Goal: Research how connected and autonomous vehicles (CAV) will reshape urban design, land use, and transportation in rural and suburban communities; how are plans being made to anticipate these changes, how should large entertainment destinations/venues and freight land use clusters plan and design?


Improving Mobility through Rideshare/Ownershare Options (PDF iconPDF)
Project Lead: Alan Herrmann, Transit Supervisor
Project Goal: Explore a public private partnership model for addressing ride share needs; assess advantages and disadvantages, available subsidies for residents with income barriers, creating a program that can transition or add CAV.


Measuring Cost of Services for Rural Land Uses (PDF iconPDF)
Project Lead: Brad Davis, County Planning Manager
Project Goal: Conduct a Cost of Community Services Study for the County’s three broad land use categories guided in the 2040 Comprehensive Plan: Agricultural Preservation (1/40 density), Rural Residential (1/2.5 density), and Rural Commercial/Industrial.


Promoting Active Living for Scott County (PDF iconPDF)
Project Lead: Nathan Moe, Parks Planner
Project Goal: Produce an analysis and engagement process to better understand how policies can affect access to active living within suburban and rural communities; conduct a policy analysis on how communities support active living and identify any barriers for suburban and rural communities; review policies, ordinances, and plans related to active living and analyze assets, gaps, barriers, and opportunities.


Evaluating Eminent Domain Settlements for Highway Projects (PDF iconPDF)
Project Lead: Lisa Freese, Transportation Director
Project Goal: Research local eminent domain processes that improve infrastructure projects and yet protects land owners and tax payer interests; conduct a policy analysis on how Eminent Domain Statutory changes have impacted local highway projects focusing on cost increases and settlement rates resulting from the 2008 statutory changes.