Governors honored for their work in creating Institute

Gov. Parris Glendening, left, and Gov. Christine Todd Whitman with their award from Partners for Livable Communities.

The Partners for Livable Communities recognized former Governors Christine Todd Whitman and Parris Glendening a few weeks ago for their work in creating the Governors’ Institute on Community Design. The PLC presented them with a Bridge Builders award for “their collaboration to create an essential resource.”

Since its inception just a few short years ago, the Governors’ Institute has held workshops in six states for sitting Governors and their cabinets, bringing in a knowledgeable team of experts and former Governors to provide invaluable advice on the growth, development and transportation issues selected by the administration.

Back in January, the GICD team traveled to [frigid!] Casper, Wyoming for a workshop with Gov. Dave Freudenthal. Unlike most past Institutes, which are usually small sessions with a Governor and his or her cabinet, this one took a slightly different format as the public was invited and involved in the workshop/conference called “Building the Wyoming We Want.”

Over 500 people, including citizens, cabinet officials and the Governor, took part in the two-day event where “state and regional experts on water and planning described how communities can get residents involved in thinking about their collective future,” according to the Governor’s release.

“What we really need is for people to articulate their values and act on them. This can’t be the governor’s vision but it should be yours, on the community level,” [said Gov. Freudenthal.] Former Maryland Governor Parris Glendening of the Governor’s Institute on Community Design called the conference “extraordinarily successful.”

“I think this may even serve as a new model for us,” Glendening said. “We’ve been working with states that already ‘get it’ but in Wyoming, it seems to be about how to make this a public issue. I have been incredibly impressed with the turnout and the level of interest. People have been attentive, and have asked great questions. The question now is, where do we go from here?”

Partners for Livable Communities is a non-profit leadership organization working to improve the livability of communities by promoting quality of life, economic development, and social equity. Learn more about the Governors’ Institute on Community Design, and the Partners for Livable Communities at

If you’re interested, you can read some of the other coverage on the Wyoming Institute from the Governor’s office, the Star-Tribune, the Star-Tribune again, the Wyoming Business Report and the New West.