About New Partners for Smart Growth

New Partners for Smart Growth arrives in the “Emerald City,”
February 4-6, 2010.

Named one of the top 10 green cities in the U.S. in 2005 by National Geographic’s The Green Guide, Seattle continues to be a wonderful example of what can be accomplished when neighbors, community nonprofits, businesses and city departments work together to make their City a healthier place to live. Come learn about some of the country’s best models for livable towns, cities and streets, and why the region is considered to be an urban lab for a more sustainable North America.

About the Event

Today, more than ever, we are faced with environmental and economic challenges that will define our generation, shape our future, and test our resilience as cities, regions, states and a nation. Join leaders from across the U.S. as we tackle these challenges head-on and demonstrate solutions to curbing greenhouse gas emissions by reducing our dependence on foreign oil, creating a green economy, and building more livable, walkable, and healthier communities.

Seattle Pikes PlacePlanning for the 9th annual conference comes on the heels of a hugely successful conference held in the heart of the Southwest — in January ’09 in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Join us in February 2010 in the beautiful Northwest — the Emerald City of Seattle, WA — for the latest in smart growth. The program will include the latest research, cutting-edge implementation tools and techniques, best practices, model projects, policies and codes, coordinated networking activities, interactive learning experiences, and new partners. Most importantly, this dynamic event offers you the opportunity to network and coordinate with your peers as well as practitioners from many different disciplines.

Who Will Benefit

A significant factor in this event’s tremendous success is its appeal to so many different disciplines. The conference will draw an 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, realtors, urban designers, parks and recreation professionals, school superintendents and board members and facilities staff, environmentalists, crime prevention professionals, 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

The program will span three full days. There will be some pre-conference tours scheduled for Wednesday, February 3rd, but the main program will kick-off on Thursday morning, February 4th and continue through Saturday afternoon. The three-day schedule includes a dynamic mix of plenaries, breakouts, implementation workshops, specialized trainings, peer-to-peer learning opportunities, and coordinated networking activities. It will also feature exciting tours of local model projects in Seattle and the greater Puget Sound Region.

There will be something for everybody, from veteran experts to smart-growth novices, with close to 90 sessions and workshops to choose from. Learn from hundreds of speakers who cross disciplines to share insights, valuable tools and strategies for making smart growth a success in your community.

Conference History

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.

Seattle StadiaIn 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 2008, the appropriately titled "New Partners for Smart Growth" multidisciplinary conference has been offered successively in San Diego, New Orleans, Portland, Miami, Denver, Los Angeles, Washington, DC, and Albuquerque.

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 2010 event continues this exciting trend and will include even more new partners who recognize smart growth as a viable solution to the problems they face in their own professions.

With the difficult 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.