The 2016 New Partners Conference is heading back west to Portland, internationally recognized as one of the most walkable, bikeable and transit-friendly “green” cities in the world. The starting point of countless model innovations in smart growth, sustainability and public engagement, the Portland region is also an environmental wonderland – even if it rains a lot! – and has one of the nation’s best urban parks and trails systems.
Dubbed “Silicon Forest” for its high concentration of tech companies, Portland has maintained a diversified “desks and docks” economy with active heavy-manufacturing and port-related shipping industries. It is both a mecca for young people and one of the best places for baby boomers to retire.
A significant factor in this event’s tremendous success is its appeal to so many different disciplines. The conference will draw a national audience of local elected officials and city and county staff; state and federal agency leaders; professionals in planning, transportation, public health, landscape architecture, architecture, public works, parks and recreation, and crime prevention and the arts; realtors, developers, builders and bankers; advocates for equity and environmental justice, youth, older adults, and walking and biking; labor representatives; school leaders and staff; environmentalists; and all others committed to building safer, healthier and more livable communities everywhere.
The nation’s largest smart growth and sustainability event, the theme for the 2016 conference is “Practical Tools and Innovative Strategies for Creating Great Communities,” underscoring a stronger emphasis on implementation tools and strategies, and new technologies that will help communities NOW! The program will span three full days with optional pre-conference events scheduled for Wednesday, February 10, and post-conference events scheduled for Sunday, February 14. The main program will kick off on Thursday morning, February 11, with a plenary starting at 10:00 am, and continue through Saturday afternoon, closing at 4:00 pm. The schedule includes a dynamic mix of plenaries, breakouts, implementation workshops, focused training sessions, peer-to-peer learning opportunities, and coordinated networking activities. It will also feature exciting tours of local model projects in and around the greater Portland region.
There will be something for everybody, from veteran experts to smart-growth novices, with over 75 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. The program will be infused with sessions and case studies focusing on important social equity and environmental justice issues.