Join us at Rail~volution 2014

st-paul-green-lineA METRO Green Line train in downtown St. Paul, MN. Photo by Metro Transit via Flickr.

Smart Growth America staff are headed to Rail~volution 2014 next week and we want to see you there! Join us on September 21-24 in Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN, at one of the many sessions we will be speaking on or facilitating.


10:00 AM: Complete Streets: From Policy to Implementation (Completely)
How can you make your complete streets policy a success? How do you translate complete streets into real benefits for the people who are walking, biking and taking public transportation? How do you promote accessibility and connectivity for all — including people with disabilities — through design and planning? Hear regional, city and international perspectives from policy to implementation during this complete complete streets workshop.

  • Moderator: Richard Weaver, AICP, Director of Planning, Policy and Sustainability, American Public Transportation Association; Chair, National Complete Streets Coalition, Washington, DC
  • Joseph Iacobucci, Sam Schwartz Engineering, DPC, Chicago, Illinois
  • Stefanie Seskin, Deputy Director, National Complete Streets Coalition, Smart Growth America, Washington, DC
  • Dan Gallagher, AICP, Transportation Planning Manager, Charlotte Department of Transportation, Charlotte, North Carolina
  • James Cromar, Director of Planning, Broward Metropolitan Planning Organization, Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
  • Tony Hull, Independent Transportation Consultant, Minneapolis, Minnesota
  • Gregory Thompson, Chair, Light Rail Transit Committee of TRB, Tallahassee, Florida
  • Roxana Ene, Project Manager, Broward Metropolitan Planning Organization, Ft. Lauderdale, Florida

2:00 PM: iTOD: Fostering Innovation + Industry Near Transit
In today’s economy, employment-focused TOD continues to gain prominence as planners and politicians seek to increase ridership, expand the tax base and create living wage jobs. The integration of transit and industry, however, brings a host of new questions and challenges. Who are the industrial users of the future? What are the new building prototypes? How can we continue to efficiently accommodate freight access and movement while introducing new modes (transit, pedestrians, bicycles)? How can we increase the accessibility and density of industrial districts without driving away companies and jobs? Come hear how cities and regions across the country are promoting innovation and industry by proactively addressing these complex issues.

  • Moderator: Ilana Preuss, Vice President and Chief of Staff, Smart Growth America, Washington, DC
  • Christopher Ferguson, President and Chief Executive Officer, Bywater Business Solutions, Minneapolis, Minnesota
  • Nolan Lienhart, Director of Planning & Urban Design, ZGF Architects LLP, Portland, Oregon
  • Jon Commers, Principal, Donjek, St. Paul, Minnesota

10:00 AM: Turning Tough Around: Skills for Managing Critics
Critics. Tough crowds. We’ve all faced them! Imagine turning those critics into supporters — or at least respectful, constructive participants in your projects. Learn how to set up your team for success by carefully structuring meetings and messages. Explore ways to manage difficult crowds and sticky situations while still building long-term relationships and agency credibility. Hear stories and strategies from people who’ve survived — and even thrive on — divisive public processes.

  • Moderator: Allison Brooks, Director, Bay Area Joint Policy Center, Oakland, California
  • Ken Snyder, CEO/President, PlaceMatters, Denver, Colorado
  • David A Goldberg, Communications Director, Transportation For America, Washington, DC
  • Salima (Sam) O’Connell, Public Involvement Manager, Metro Transit, St. Louis Park, Minnesota

2:00 PM: Creative Placemaking: Celebrating Culture + Community
As communities are transformed by large-scale transportation projects, how do we celebrate and sustain local identity and culture and engage local artists, community members and businesses? This panel will provide examples of diverse, forward-looking institutions encouraging and fostering creative placemaking; creative placemaking as a tool to accomplish many community goals; and foundations and others using their resources to catalyze ideas and community engagement through placemaking. We will draw from local experiences in the Twin Cities, a leader in creative placemaking in transportation, and learn about the processes and aspirations of placemaking around upcoming bus rapid transit projects in Nashville, San Diego and Portland.

  • Elyse Lowe, Deputy Executive Director, Circulate San Diego, San Diego, California
  • Maria Rosario Jackson, Senior Advisor, Arts and Culture, The Kresge Foundation, Troy, Michigan
  • Katina Mortensen, Project Manager, Grassroots Solutions, Minneapolis, Minnesota
  • Christine Podas-Larson, President, Public Art Saint Paul, St. Paul, Minnesota
  • Renata Soto, Executive Director, Conexion Americas, Nashville, Tennessee
  • Todd Struble, Jade District Manager, Asian Pacific American Network of Oregon, Portland, Oregon

4:00 PM: Rurban Solutions: Strategies for Small and Midsize Communities
Rural + Urban. What are the challenges faced — and shared — by small and midsize cities? Peer through the “rurban” lens: Explore strategies for integrating transportation, land use, energy and affordable housing. Learn how to improve choices for low- and moderate-income households to reduce transportation costs, connect workers to jobs and facilitate upward mobility. How can we create places that are vital and healthy? Look at local economies and public spending, as well as retrofitting urban transportation for rurban use. Much is written about large urban strategies. Discover solutions for the often-overlooked quieter corners of our nation, where placemaking is just as important for creating successful and rewarding lives.

  • Moderator: Roger M. Millar, Vice President, Smart Growth America, Washington, DC
  • Sarah Graham, Principal, Strategic Economics, Berkeley, California
  • James Bruckbauer, Transportation Policy Specialist, Michigan Land Use Institute, Traverse City, Michigan
  • David Johnson, Director of Planning, Roaring Forks Transportation Authority, Carbondale, Colorado

Learn more about the conference, view the full agenda, and register at