February 7-9, 2008
The New Partners for Smart Growth Conference has grown significantly since it began several years ago- increasing in scope, attendance, and prestige- and is now considered to be the “premier” smart growth conference held each year. The strength of this conference comes from the variety of participants and speakers who cross disciplines to share experiences and insights, and valuable tools and strategies to encourage smart growth implementation and “get it done.”
The 2008 conference continues this exciting trend and includes more new partners than ever. We expect this to be our largest ever, surpassing the tremendous success of the recent 2007 New Partners for Smart Growth Conference in Los Angeles which boasted over 1500 participants, 300 speakers, and 96 sessions over three full days.
The 7th Annual New Partners for Smart Growth Conference will be held at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel. The theme of this year’s conference is “Building Safe, Healthy, and Livable Communities. The conference is presented by the Local Government Commission, in partnership with the USDA Forest Service.
Washington, DC is the ideal location for this event. Bringing together the cultural vibrancy and economic growth with the iconic history of our nation’s capital and its neighborhoods, this region provides a wealth of innovative policies at the state, local and federal levels to examine. Whether it’s the overwhelming success of the transit system, creative housing strategies to promote affordability or environmental benchmarks to ensure clean air and water, significant lessons about smart growth can be learned here. Participants will come to see a region that is setting the pace for livable communities both inside and outside the Beltway.
Washington, DC is a unique blend of cultural vibrancy, economic growth, and historic landmarks. For professionals from all walks of life, the region also reveals the future, a pace-setting laboratory of innovative smart-growth practices- from successful transit solutions to creative housing strategies and clean air and water benchmarks.
Community design, at its core, is about improving our quality of life. That’s why this conference- and the smart growth movement nationwide- has expanded to include law enforcement and crime prevention professionals, labor unions, advocates for social equity, clinicians, and other public health professionals who are working every day to make their neighborhoods safer and healthier for people of all ages.
This multi-disciplinary conference helps coordinate the interest of this diverse gropu of “new partners” for smart growth that also includes local elected officials, city and county staff, landscape architects, developers and builders, realtors, planners, transportation professionals, and traffic engineers, architects, bankers, urban designers, parks and recreation professionals, environmentalist, bicycle/pedestrian advocates, advocates for affordable housing, and others committed to building more livable communities.
Who Will Benefit
The conference will draw a multidisciplinary audience of local elected officials, city and county staff, landscape architects, developers and builders, planners, transportation professionals and traffic engineers, public health professionals, architects, bankers, crime prevention professionals, realtors, urban designers, parks and recreation professionals, environmentalists, advocates for older adults and youth, bicycle and pedestrian advocates, advocates for social equity and affordable housing, labor representatives, and all others committed to building safer, healthier, and more livable communities everywhere.
The program will include a dynamic mix of plenaries, interactive breakouts, implementation workshops, specialized trainings, and optional tours of local model projects. It will feature the latest on cutting-edge smart growth issues, implementation tools and strategies, best practices, interactive learning experiences, new partners, new projects, and new policies. It will also feature exciting tours of local model projects in the DC area, and other interesting case studies from throughout the region.
Most importantly, this dynamic event offers you the opportunity to network and coordinate with your peers as well as practitioners from many different disciplines with the same goal – building safe, healthy, and livable communities for all.
The origins of this smart growth conference can be traced to late 1995 when the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency first launched its smart growth program. As part of this effort, they looked to organize a national conference that would focus on environmentally sensitive growth and development.
In December 1997, the EPA, together with the Urban Land Institute, co-sponsored the first “Partners for Smart Growth” conference. This year marks the 10-year anniversary of that first groundbreaking event. Conferences followed in Austin in 1998, then San Diego and finally, in Atlanta. The LGC participated in the San Diego conference, organizing a third day focused on smart growth in the Western States.
The LGC began organizing conferences on “livable communities” somewhat earlier, producing five installments of its highly successful “Putting Our Communities Back on Their Feet Conference” on the East and West Coasts in the mid-to-late 1990’s.
In 2001, the LGC partnered with the Centers for Disease Control, the California Department of Transportation and Penn State University to produce a “first of its kind” national, multidisciplinary event titled “Redesigning Community: A Smart Growth Approach to Street and Neighborhood Design, Crime Prevention, and Public Health and Safety” in San Diego.
Immediately following that event, the EPA approached the LGC about merging their collective efforts. Addressing the key issues on the table in 2001 through 2006, the appropriately titled “New Partners for Smart Growth” multidisciplinary conference has been offered successively in San Diego, New Orleans, Portland, Miami, Denver, and Los Angeles.
The strength of the conference comes from the diversity of participants who cross disciplinary lines to share experiences and insights, valuable implementation tools and strategies. The 2007 event continues this exciting trend and includes even more new partners who recognize smart growth as a viable solution to the problems they face in their own professions.
With the challenges our nation is currently facing, there are more reasons than ever to join hands with new partners and work toward our common goal of creating safe, healthy, walkable, economically vibrant and livable communities for all.
For more information, visit New Partners for Smart Growth.