Join Smart Growth America at the 2014 New Partners for Smart Growth Conference

npsg-2014The annual New Partners for Smart Growth conference brings together public officials, development professionals, advocates, and civic organizations to connect with experts from across the country and catch up on the evolving best practices in smart growth. Hundreds of speakers cross disciplines to share insights, tools and strategies for making smart growth a success in communities across the country.

This year’s conference will take place February 13-15, 2014 in Denver, CO, and Smart Growth America is excited to be one of the many organizations participating. If you plan to attend the conference, be sure to catch the following sessions featuring Smart Growth America’s members and staff.

Thursday, February 13
7:25 PM—8:30 PM Kick-off Plenary — Extreme Weather, Smart-Growth Forecasts: Finding Opportunities for Implementing Silver Linings
From coast to coast over the last few years, America’s weather has been bad – extremely bad. In fact, 2012 was the nation’s second-worst year on record for heat, drought, wildfires and floods. This year (2013) isn’t very encouraging either, with record storms and snowfall in the Northeast and Midwest, drought in the West, the massive, deadly tornado in Oklahoma, destructive wildfires in Arizona and California, and extensive flooding in Colorado. In 2012 alone, extreme weather and natural disasters cost the American economy more than $100 billion. The way we build our communities – from where we build our homes, schools, stores and workplaces, and how we get from one place to another – affects the severity of these events upon our personal and public health and economic well-being. These leaders will share their perspectives and offer practical examples and planning “forecasts” about how implementing smart-growth approaches have made their communities and residents more resilient in minimizing, preparing for and surviving the impacts of natural disasters – and reducing their effects on local economies, jobs and quality of life.

Moderator: Kate Zyla, Deputy Director, Georgetown Climate Center

Speakers: Local Leaders Council member Nancy Chaney, Mayor, City of Moscow, ID; Michael B. Hancock, Mayor, City of Denver, CO; Bob Dixson, Mayor, City of Greensburg, KS

Friday, February 14
3:30 PM—5:30 PM Zombie Subdivisions: Can You Restore, Reincarnate, Kill or Prevent Them
“Zombie Subdivisions” are the living dead of the real estate market. Hear the lessons learned by experienced zombie slayers and add your own stories, challenges and lessons to this implementation workshop. Understand the factors leading to excessive creation of housing lots, how this impacts communities and smart growth objectives, and how to address existing distressed subdivision problems and prevent future ones. Examine one county still struggling to climb out from the great recession and a second county, which applied what they learned from a 1980’s bust to prevent a recurrence. Join discussions about planning and legal considerations, the effectiveness of different smart growth tools and strategies, and the role of developers, lenders, public officials and residents in crafting collaborative solutions. Develop a short list of best practices and pick up our new report on addressing zombie, distressed and premature subdivisions.

Moderator:Jim Holway, Director, Western Lands and Communities

Speakers: Local Leaders Council member Kathy Rinaldi, Commissioner, Teton County, ID; Anna Trentadue, Program Director, Staff Attorney, Valley Advocates for Responsible Development; Linda Dannenberger, Planning Director, Mesa County, CO; Don Elliot, FAICP, Director, Clarion Associates

Saturday, February 15
10:15 AM—12:15 PM The Dollars and $ense of Smart Growth
Smart Growth has been engaged as an apologetic or alternative form of development, to the perceived “market driven” sprawl that most communities face. Innovations in financial and policy analysis are demonstrating that Smart Growth development is not only more beneficial from an environmental standpoint, but it is also more fiscally responsible form of growth at a municipal level. This session explores analytic tools, property policy exploration, as well as leadership strategies that are applicable in any size municipality, from a public, private and advocacy perspective. These methods will be explained as case studies, as well as a walk through of the communication tools that will help planners and policy makers explain the municipal effect of Smart Growth decisions. Panelists will present ideas and examples for Creating great places with durable local economies. To steal the line from Jerry McGuire, we’re going to “Show you the money!” as well as how to show others the money.

Moderator:Lee Sobel, Director of Public Strategies, RCLCO

Speakers: Christopher Coes, Managing Director, LOCUS; Mitchell Silver, Chief Planning and Development Officer and Director, Department of City Planning, City of Raleigh, NC; Dena Belzer, President, Strategic Economics, Inc.; Joseph Minicozzi, Principal, Urban3, LLC; Charles Marohn, Jr. PE, AICP, Co-Founder and President, Strong Towns

10:15 AM-12:15 PM Smarter Growth in One Year: 10 Actions to Get Your Community Started
Smart growth is a comprehensive approach to policy and spending decisions that encompasses a vast array of issue areas. But returns are often not visible until years later, leading to a paralyzing question: where to start? Join this panel of local decision-makers who will prescribe 10 ways to spark some local smart-growth momentum. Experts with frontline experience will offer policies, projects and initiatives that can be started within a year to show the public what a smart-growth approach looks like.

Moderator: Neha Bhatt, Deputy Director of Policy Development and Implementation, Smart Growth America

Speakers: Bill Henry, Councilmember, City of Baltimore, MD; Lewis Reed, Board President, City of St. Louis, MO; Sharon Thomas, Mayor Pro-Tem, City of Las Cruces, NM; Barbara Hoppe, Mayor Pro-Tem and Councilmember, City of Columbia, MO.

1:45 PM-3:15 PM Blazing a Trail: A Collaborative Model for Complete Streets in Rural Towns
As more than 500 communities, regions, and states across the United States pursue Complete Streets as a means to promote active transportation, national, state and local experts will discuss building capacity in rural and small towns to encourage Complete Streets policies and practices. This session highlights Montana’s Building Active Communities Initiative, a statewide model of collaboration currently active in eight communities across the state and plans to expand to six more during 2014. These communities are working to achieve long-term changes to the built environment and promote health equity. Using this model as a guide, learn how a team of state and local mentors and coaches customize strategies to meet place-based challenges and needs.

Moderator: Laura Searfoss, Associate, National Complete Streets Coalition, Smart Growth America

Speakers: Roger Millar, PE, AICP, Vice President, Smart Growth America; Catherine Costakis, Senior Consultant, Built Environment, Montana State University; Jerry Jimison, Mayor, City of Glendive, MT; Larry Bonderud, Mayor, City of Shelby, MT

These are just some of the nearly 80 sessions that will happen during the 2014 NPSG conference. We hope to see you in Denver!