Building Civic Capacity for a Stronger Troy

To more effectively support the City of Troy and to enhance the opportunities for teaching and learning for our students, Hudson Valley Community College, Russell Sage College, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and the Emma Willard School are working together to create a series of public deliberations to focus on the future of Troy.


We hope to include civic, political, religious, and business leaders in a series of discussions to focus on the hopes, aspirations and barriers for creating a stronger Troy. These discussions will be in the form of public deliberations and will be moderated by faculty and students from our various institutions.

Public deliberation is a form of engaging citizens in public problem solving by discussing key issues in small groups and working collaboratively to resolve problems. One example is captured in a brief video clip (4 minutes) about Portsmouth, New Hampshire found on YouTube by searching: Finalists for the Reinhard Mohn Prize 2011: Portsmouth Listens.

We are currently looking for leading organizations and individuals in the City of Troy who would like to be part of four deliberations that will take place next year starting in late October.

These deliberations will identify participants’ hopes for the City of Troy and their concerns. As the discussions progress, we will be providing ongoing research to help identify and define the many variables associated with the topics we will be discussing.

The result of these discussions will focus the energy of our educational institutions and the many groups and organizations concerned for the city around significant issues. Our educational institutions will engage  students, faculty, and staff through community service, service learning and community based research in key projects. The groups and organizations can explore ways of working more collaboratively toward common ends. As we all work together, we will have also built the civic capacity of our city to continue to take on difficult problems and to move the city forward.

If you would like to be a part of this dynamic approach to create a Stronger Troy, please email Dr. Peter R. Sawyer at ( or call (518) 629-4738.