Registration is Now Open!

9th Annual Conference Slated Oct. 4-5, 2016

Register now to attend the largest and longest standing sustainability conference in the Midwest. Now in our 9th year, we are gearing up for our best show ever! With more than 25 workshops, three mobile tours, two keynote luncheons, a breakfast plenary session, a networking reception and dozens of vendors and exhibitors, you'll find take -aways in every hour of this two-day event. Hotel rooms are inexpensive and within walking distance and Dubuque's riverfront is gorgeous when the leaves turn in the fall.

Check out our programming page to read descriptions of this year's workshops, featuring presenters from across the continent who will deliver new research, case studies and the latest best practices to help you plan and implement projects and programs related to economic prosperity, ecologic integrity, social vibrancy, equity and resilience.

Hosted by the City of Dubuque, Iowa and Sustainable City Network, the Growing Sustainable Communities Conference will be held at the Grand River Center located in the Port of Dubuque at 500 Bell Street (View Map). The 9th annual Conference is two days of education, inspiration and collaboration on topics of interest to anyone who cares about creating great towns and cities that stand the test of time.

Inspirational Keynote Speakers

GSCC L. Hunter Lovins, President/Founder of Natural Capitalism Solutions will deliver the Tuesday luncheon keynote address. Dr. Neal Phillip, chairperson, Department of Chemistry and Chemical Technology, Bronx Community College/CUNY, will deliver the Wednesday morning plenary address; and Dr. Manuel Pastor, professor of Sociology and American Studies & Ethnicity at the University of Southern California, will present the Wednesday luncheon keynote address.

Read more about our keynotes here.

Outstanding Programming

This year's conference will include workshop speakers with a wide range of expertise, including representatives from the U.S. Department of Energy, the National Wildlife Federation, the Iowa Economic Development Agency, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, the Wisconsin Energy Conservation Corp., the New Mexico State Energy Office and businesses such as General Electric, Burns & McDonnell, HDR, Shive-Hattery, and many others.

A wide variety of municipal professionals will also be presenting case studies on the sustainability initiatives in their respective communities, including the cities of Minneapolis, Minn., Montclair, N.J., Cedar Hill, Texas, Phoenix, Ariz., Pittsburgh, Penn., South Bend, Ind., Hobart, Ind., South Sioux City, Neb., Mundelein, Ill., Evanston, Ill., Springfield, Ill. and the Iowa communities of Clinton, Bloomfield, Cedar Rapids, Iowa City and Dubuque. Researchers from 10 universities and numerous nonprofits will also present their findings.

Topics will include the latest information on water & air quality monitoring, developing circular economies, event-based strategic planning, peer-to-peer learning, ethics, city/school partnerships, Municipal Action Plans, energy management, combined heat and power, green building, wood gasification, brownfield redevelopment, deconstruction, resiliency & disaster management, urban agriculture & indoor farming, sustainable infrastructure, stakeholder engagement, certification frameworks, waste-to-energy, green roofs, green infrastructure & stormwater management, embedded technologies & remote monitoring, affordable housing, renewable energy, recycling, reducing emissions, drought mitigation, smart meters, landfill diversion, health & wellness programs, LED lighting, social equity, alternative fuel vehicles and sustainability metrics, among others.

Complete workshop descriptions can be found on our programming page.

In 2015, approximately 500 people from 100 different cities in 26 states attended the 8th annual event. Attendees included elected officials, municipal senior management and staff, as well as private-sector business leaders, university administrators, faculty and students.


Thank You 2016 Sponsors!

Presented by the City of Dubuque and Sustainable City Network, the Growing Sustainable Communities Conference is sponsored by Crescent Electric Supply Co. and other corporate sponsors.

Here's a list of the sponsors who have signed on so far. To join them click here.

Advanced Draining Systems   |   Alliant Energy   |   APWA - Iowa Chapter   |   AWWA
Borgert Products, Inc.   |   Burns & McDonnell   |   Conlon Construction Co
Crawford, Murphy & Tilly, Inc.   |   Crescent Electric Supply Company
Crescent Electric Supply Company   |   Dubuque Bank and Trust   |   Dupaco
Eagle Point Solar   |   Emmons & Olivier Resources   |   Energize Connecticut
Energy Conservation Partners, LTC   |   Energy Systems Group   |   FEH Design
Gronen Properties/Restoration   |   Hanging Gardens/AdGreenroof   |   HBK Engineering
HDR Engineering   |   HUD, Housing and Urban Development
Hydro-Ecology Services, North America   |   IA Department of Natural Resources   |   IIW
ITC Transco   |   John Deere Dubuque Works   |   Kraus-Anderson
Loras College Graduate Division   |   McClure Engineering Company
Midwest Renewable Energy Association   |   New Partners for Smart Growth Conference
Northeast Iowa Community College   |   Optimus Technologies   |   Premier Bank
RDG Planning & Design   |   Re-TRAC Connect   |   Shive-Hattery   |   SmartWatt Energy
Solar Planet   |   Suez   |   SunPeak   |   Fence Talk Digital   |   TrueNorth Companies
Unison Solutions   |   University of Dubuque   |   University of Iowa
US DOE Midwest CHP Technical Assistance Partnership   |   Van Meter, Inc.   |   WISRD

Rave Reviews

Here's what some of the attendees said about previous conferences:

"This conference was amazing. Very uplifting and empowering."

"I was impressed by the quality of the programming, the speakers, the venue, the food, the hotel accommodations and the overall organization of the conference. Top Notch!"

"This is a good place to meet with others and hear from industry and local government professionals who are working on similar initiatives, and maybe having the same issues. The keynote speakers were worldclass and inspirational. I would highly recommend this conference."

"Besides the information provided in the workshops, plenary speakers and the exhibit hall, fellow attendees were a useful source of information."

"This conference did a great job of combining practical case studies with dream-big sustainability goal-setting conversations. I enjoyed all three of the keynote speakers and enjoyed getting out on one of the field trips, too. Dubuque is an impressive role model!"

"The conference was full of practical information that can be implemented in communities of all sizes. The range of people attending, from students, to private industry, to non-profits, to city employees made for great discussions."

The GSC Conference is one of the most well-run and friendly conferences I have attended. As a presenter, the coordination was amazing. As an attendee the space was comfortable, well marked and easy to navigate. The sessions were professional and I appreciate the effort made to allow us to obtain CEU's."

"One of the best conferences I've attended on sustainability. Valued packed at an affordable price. I will be returning."