Hosted by the City of Dubuque, Iowa and Sustainable City Network, the Growing Sustainable Communities Conference - Midwestern Region will be held at the Grand River Center located in the Port of Dubuque at 500 Bell Street (View Map). The 7th annual Conference is a two-day educational opportunity for municipal professionals, elected officials and business leaders who have a common interest in economic, environmental, and social/cultural sustainability. The conference will be held on Tuesday and Wednesday Oct. 7 and 8, 2014.

Attendees: Many of our workshops may qualify for professional development hours (PDHs) through the Iowa Engineering and Land Surveying Board and other accreditation organizations. Sustainable City Network will keep attendee rosters on file for three years.

2014 Session Descriptions
(Download as a printable PDF)

Programming sessions subject to change without notice.

Tuesday, Oct. 7, 2014

9:00 – 10:00 am
10:00 – 11:30 am
Workshop Session 1
  • Mobile Tour
    Walking Tour of Dubuque's Historic Washington Neighborhood and Bee Branch Watershed Flood Mitigation Project

    The Washington Neighborhood is one of Dubuque's oldest and most diverse neighborhoods, covering 55 square blocks, and is home to 1,900 residents. A majority of the properties within the neighborhood were built prior to 1939; many of the buildings date to the 1880's and 1890's.

    This historic neighborhood has been a major focus for reinvestment efforts by the City of Dubuque since 2005. Its historic architecture, central location, and wide range of housing stock provide key assets to build upon.

    Read About the Washington Neighborhood Project

    Dubuque's 6.5 square mile Bee Branch watershed is where more than 50 percent of Dubuque residents live or work. The multi-phased investment to mitigate flooding, improve water quality, stimulate investment and enhance quality of life has been nationally recognized as a watershed management best practice.
  • Change to Engage – Fostering Social Equity in Your Community
    Sponsored by: United Water and Crescent Electric
    Presenters: Kelly Larson, City of Dubuque (PDF); and Kimberly Hill Knott, Detroit Climate Action Collaborative(PDF)
    Changing to engage and better meet the needs of city residents can be complicated for municipal governments. This session will discuss how two cities have worked toward that change, in Dubuque, Iowa, and Detroit, Mich.

    Learn how the City of Dubuque worked to transform a government human rights department from one that was structured and resourced solely for reactive enforcement of civil rights laws, to one that is being revitalized to collectively lead change in ways respectful of the current, and varied, cultural perspectives of a place.

    This session will also discuss the importance of effective grassroots/grasstops engagement and solution building strategies and how those are being applied to climate change planning by Detroiters Working for Environmental Justice.
  • Unlocking Your Potential for Clean Energy
    Sponsored by: Optony, Inc., University of Wisconsin-Platteville
    Presenters: Michael Ahern, Ever-Green Energy (PDF); and Benjamin Foster, Optony (PDF); and Nick Smith, Alliant Energy (PDF)
    In this presentation, Michael Ahern of Ever-Green Energy will profile projects that vary in scale, geography, business structure, and stakeholder involvement and feature the evaluation or application of district heating and cooling, combined heat and power, biogas, industrial or commercial waste heat, thermal storage, solar PV, and solar thermal. Each project is in a different stage of development, ranging from feasibility to operation.

    Benjamin Foster of Optony, Inc., will describe the U.S. Department of Energy’s Solar Roadmap platform, which provides free resources to local government agencies, regional organizations, businesses and electric utilities. Through a tailored Solar Roadmap, interested communities can join more than 100 others in transforming their regional environments and economies with clean energy solutions.

    Kim King, from Alliant Energy, will discuss how an investor-owned utility is looking at the future of renewable energy and shifting its business plan based on those predictions.
  • Sustainability Technology
    Sponsored by: DRAW Architecture + Urban Design and Greater Dubuque Development Corp.
    Presenters: Dominique Davison, DRAW Architecture + Urban Design; and Kim Foster of Ferguson Waterworks
    As community leaders strive to engage residents and businesses, technology evolves to meet those needs. This session will engage participants with innovative private and open-source technologies that allow for resident interaction, project visualization and design, data measurement and collection of community input.
  • Urban Forestry Panel Discussion
    Sponsored by: Shive-Hattery Architecture-Engineering and The Kestrel Design Group
    Presenters: Peter MacDonagh, The Kestrel Design Group (PDF); Edith Makra, Metropolitan Mayors Caucus (PDF); and Beth Corrigan, the Morton Arboretum (PDF)
    Urban forests are gaining attention, not only for making a community more attractive, but also for practical applications like stormwater management. This session will discuss the benefits of urban forests, beginning with Minnesota’s stormwater manual and credits calculator, which is one of the first to give stormwater credits for trees. The presentation will detail the latest research on measuring stormwater quantity and quality benefits provided by tree/soil systems.

    The session also will discuss how incorporating trees and plants can contribute to a city’s third bottom line by enhancing property values and supporting thriving business districts, including how to use trees, flowers and other plants to contribute to sustainable and livable communities, and how to build a regional collaborative effort to support the urban forest and leverage resources from a wide number of partners. The best ideas from communities of all sizes from across the country will be discussed.
11:35 am – 1:15 pm
Luncheon and Keynote Address in the Grand Ballroom

Storm Cunningham is CEO of ReCitizen, L3C in Washington, DC. ReCitizen, L3C is a Washington, DC-based global network for citizen-led regeneration of communities and natural resources. As an L3C (a non-profit / for-profit hybrid), ReCitizen provides free online tools for crowdsourcing, crowdmapping, and crowdfunding the renewal of cities, farms, and nature.

Storm is the author of 2002’s The Restoration Economy, which has been hailed by government and business leaders around the world as “Extraordinary”, “Remarkable”, “A modern classic”, “A landmark work”, “Required reading”, and “The most important and valuable business book I have read in many years.”

His second book, reWealth, was published by McGraw-Hill in 2008. George Ochs, Director of Real Asset Investment at JP Morgan calls Storm “the world’s thought leader on community revitalization and natural resource restoration” and calls reWealth: “The secret weapon…for economic recovery at both local and global scales.”

Storm’s third book, FIXERS: New Leaders for Broken Times, will be published in 2015. It will be the first book to document the global rise of Adaptive Renewal in this climate of uncertainty.

Storm Cunningham was—from 1996 to 2002—Director, Strategic Initiatives at the Construction Specifications Institute, a 50+ year-old association of 18,000 architects, engineers, contractors, and manufacturers.

A former Green Beret SCUBA medic with the U.S. Army’s 7th Special Forces Group, he is an avid SCUBA diver, motorcyclist, and amateur herpetologist. He lives in Arlington, Virginia, USA.

Read more about Storm Cunningham.
1:30 – 2:45 pm
Workshop Session 2
  • Fostering Sustainability Through Local Government
    Sponsored by: Shive-Hattery Architecture-Engineering and Greater Dubuque Development Corp.
    Presenter: Julia Parzen, JP Consulting (PDF)
    In this session, consultant Julia Parzen will discuss key lessons learned from five years of managing the Urban Sustainability Directors Network, a lauded professional network of municipal government sustainability professionals from 120 cities formed to advance the practice of urban sustainability. She’ll highlight stories from selected cities, as well as details of several successful public/private partnerships. Attendees will learn how to advance sustainability from inside or outside local government.
  • Energy Retrofits: Helping Communities Go Green
    Sponsored by: John Deere and Sustainable City Network
    Presenters: Anna Bruen, City of Fairfield, Iowa (PDF); and Eric Coffman, Green Dubuque (PDF)
    Everyone knows energy retrofits can have astonishing financial returns, but finding the money to make that initial investment can be a challenge to residents, civic organizations and businesses, large and small. This session will describe two local programs that help community members get over that hump.

    The Alliant Energy Hometown Rewards Program is a partnership with communities that engages residents, local governments, businesses and industries to develop and implement energy saving initiatives. Designed for small- to mid-sized Iowa towns, this innovative program provides technical and financial assistance, while the communities provide human capital and local knowledge. This session will share the process of developing and delivering a customized program – including tips for goal setting, sustainability plan development and implementation, and measuring results.

    In the second half of the session, Eric Coffman of Green Dubuque will describe the Grants to Green program. The Community Foundation of Greater Dubuque has $1.2 million to spend on energy retrofits of buildings owned or leased by area nonprofit organizations. Several dozen organizations have had energy audits and are in various stages of implementing energy retrofit projects. This session will describe the program and report on its progress so far.
  • Decreasing Emissions and Saving Fuel in Your Fleet
    Sponsored by: Unison Solutions and United Water
    Presenters: Laura Palombi, Clean Energy Coalition (PDF); and Patricia Weikersheimer, Argonne National Laboratory (PDF)
    This presentation will begin with a discussion about the City of Oberlin Fleet and Fuel Emissions Reduction Strategy (OFFERS) project, highlighting the process from grant application to project implementation. Content will include a walkthrough of the strategies developed to reduce fuel costs and greenhouse gas emissions of the partner fleets by 15 percent during three years. The presentation also will give an overview on Clean Energy Coalition’s fleet optimization consulting service, Fuel Forward, concluding with an update on how the City of Oberlin, as well as key constituents, are further meeting their goals to reduce emissions.

    The second part of the presentation will discuss IdleBox, a modular, electronic toolkit designed to help Clean Cities coordinators and others perform outreach on the benefits of idle reduction, and help fleet managers and vehicle operators reduce vehicle idling. IdleBox tools are customizable; they can be used to launch a new idle reduction initiative or to support an existing program.
  • Community Connections through Colleges and Universities
    Sponsored by: Conlon Construction and Crescent Electric Supply Co.
    Presenters: Allessandra Cairo, Prairie State College; and Genny Boesen, South Metropolitan Higher Education Consortium (PDF)
    Through this presentation, the audience will learn how colleges and universities can serve as a catalyst for local municipalities to advance sustainability efforts with their limited resources. The presentation will discuss how one organization was able to convene multiple groups of stakeholders and ultimately connect colleges and universities to local municipalities to advance sustainability. The program is still in the developmental stages, but presenters will discuss current activities, joint networking opportunities, marketing and promotion success stories, and other connections made, as well as future opportunities.
  • Building a Sustainable Workforce While Reducing Crime and Diverting Waste
    Sponsored by: United Water and Sustainable City Network
    Presenters: Dan Clark, Iowa Prison Industries (PDF); and Cheryl Lounsberry, UnityPoint Health
    This presentation will describe a novel program to reduce solid waste (furniture) sent to the landfill, while training female offenders in job skills (creating a sustainable workforce) that improve the odds they will be successful upon release (building social equity).

    UnityPoint Health and Iowa Prison Industries have collaborated on a new program that sends used furniture from the UnityPoint Health network of facilities to be refurbished by offenders at the Iowa Correctional Institution for Women in Mitchellville. Once the furniture has been refurbished, it is sold back to UnityPoint Health facilities on a secure, dedicated website. UnityPoint Health facilities save 40-60% versus the cost of new furniture, and the program eliminates many tons of solid waste that formerly went to landfills. For Iowa Prison Industries, the program provides additional work training opportunities for female offenders.
2:45 – 3:15 pm
Browse Exhibitor Booths
Join us in the Exhibit Hall on the ground floor for refreshments, networking and exhibitor demos.
3:15 – 4:15 pm
Workshop Session 3
  • A City-Wide Plan for Sustainability
    Sponsored by: Brendle Group and Ever-Green Energy
    Presenters: Karl van Lith, City of Madison (PDF); and Becky Fedak, Brendle Group (PDF)
    This presentation will discuss the efforts of two cities to develop and implement sustainability plans for their communities. Karl van Lith will talk about how the City of Madison, Wis., propagated sustainability throughout its organization and the city at large by involving employees, local agencies and residents.

    Becky Fedak will present the Greater Toledo Going Beyond Green Sustainability Index: A new approach for measuring progress in comprehensive sustainability planning, developed by the Toledo-Lucas County Sustainability Commission. The index helps effectively set goals, track progress and communicate gains to decision makers and the public on the plan’s various components, including water quality, land use, health, education, infrastructure and economic development.
  • The Saint Paul Sustainable Building Policy - A Model of Flexibility & Accountability
    Sponsored by: Green Electronics Council and United Water
    Presenters: Kurt Schultz, City of Saint Paul, Minn.(PDF); and Richard Strong, Center for Sustainable Building Research
    In 2010 the Saint Paul mayor and city council adopted a sustainable building policy that applies to all new city buildings, as well as privately developed new construction projects that receive more than $200,000 in public investment. The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency granted funds to Saint Paul for the purpose of developing this model policy that other municipalities can borrow and replicate. The presenters will discuss how the policy was developed, the details of its content and useful tools to help ensure compliance. They will also discuss lessons learned and recommendations for other municipalities that are considering adopting a green building policy. The presentation will be of interest to developers, contractors, policy makers, planners and the general public.
  • Advancements in LED Technology for Roadway and Other Outdoor Applications
    Sponsored by: Crescent Electric Supply Co. and Sustainable City Network
    Presenters: Teresa Bair, Outdoor Product Manager, GE Lighting
    Advancements in LED technology and product designs are revolutionizing the lighting industry. In addition to realizing energy savings of 50% or more, municipalities of all sizes are benefiting from significant reductions in maintenance, recycling/disposal costs and spare lamp inventories.

    Attendees will be briefed on the latest applications of LED fixtures and control systems (including state-of-the-art wireless controls) in roadway, outdoor area and parking structure installations. Case studies from several recent municipality projects will be presented.
  • Revitalizing Brownfields with EPA Technical Assistance
    Sponsored by: D.A. Davidson and Alliant Energy
    Presenters: David Doyle, U.S. EPA (PDF); and Donovan Olson, City of Ogden, Iowa
    EPA Region 7 provided technical assistance to the local government and other stakeholders in Odgen, Iowa, to transform several brownfields properties into community assets. Subsequent to the EPA assistance, a new medical clinic was constructed on one of the properties and other businesses filled previously empty storefronts near the new clinic. Audience members also will learn about technical assistance available from EPA to make communities more sustainable.
  • Resilience through Effective Floodplain Management
    Sponsored by: Shive-Hattery Architecture-Engineering and Crescent Electric Supply Co.
    Presenters: Brent Schleck, NOAA, and Bridget Faust, Assoc. of State Floodplain Managers (PDF)
    Regional changes in land-use and climate are causing more frequent and severe flooding in many parts of the country, driving municipal planners and practitioners to seek solutions that make their communities more resilient to future natural disasters. The Great Lakes Coastal Resilience Planning Guide (GLCRPG) was designed to facilitate this knowledge exchange. Within, proven practical science-based solutions are highlighted in community-authored and co-authored case studies that link to the tools, data, maps, and funding opportunities necessary to replicate them. To demonstrate how the GLCRPG can be used in practice, the presenters will compare how neighboring Two Harbors and Duluth, Minn., weathered the 2012 "Solstice Flood," the biggest flooding event ever recorded in the Duluth area, and walk attendees through a case study showcasing how Two Harbors planned and completed infrastructure projects that enhanced the community's resilience to flooding. Finally, the presenters will summarize the progress that Duluth has made post-flood and highlight how the city could apply best practices from the previously mentioned case study as they plan infrastructure development projects.
4:15 – 5:45 pm
Networking Reception

Join us in the Exhibit Hall on the ground floor for libations and heavy hors d'oeuvres. This is a chance for attendees of the Tuesday and Wednesday conference sessions to meet and greet their peers and conference speakers, sponsors and organizers in a casual atmosphere.


Wednesday, Oct. 8, 2014

7:30 – 8:00 am
8:00 – 9:00 am
Continental Breakfast with Plenary Speaker
Presenter: Dr. Yogesh Shah, Associate Dean of Global Health, Des Moines University (PDF)

Dr. Yogesh Shah brings to Des Moines University an expertise in geriatrics and the health effects of climate, as well as a passion for improving the health of people around the world. He is triple-board-certified in family medicine, geriatrics and hospice and palliative care. He was awarded a Fulbright scholarship in March, 2013 to develop palliative care education curriculum in Rwanda.

Dr. Shah has been instrumental in establishing the city of Des Moines as a member of the World Health Organization's network of age-friendly cities. He also led the creation of the Heartland Global Health Consortium, and the Heartland Climate Health Consortium, a collaborative of Iowa educational institutions and leaders promoting the effects climate change has on nutrition and human health. Dr. Shah has been invited to speak at the White House task force on climate change and be part of the first ever World Health Organization conference in Geneva on climate and health.

Dr. Shah, who was born in Mumbai, India, has received the Passport to Prosperity Award, which honors individuals who immigrated to the state of Iowa and have contributed significantly to the community. He lives in Clive, Iowa, with his wife Deval and their two children Rishi and Maya.
9:00 – 10:15 am
Workshop Session 4
  • Sustainable Bottom-Line Benefits
    Sponsored by: Greater Dubuque Development Corp. and Crescent Electric Supply Co.
    Presenter: Tom Eggert, Wisconsin Sustainable Business Council (PDF)
    Tom Eggert, executive director of the Wisconsin Sustainable Business Council, will discuss how businesses have been taking the lead in sustainable development for the last 20 years and how they are now engaging their communities in the cause.
  • Changing Behaviors Through Stakeholder Engagement Programs
    Sponsored by: United Water and Sustainable Dubuque
    Presenters: Raj Shukla, Cool Choices (PDF); and Laura Palombi, Clean Energy Coalition (PDF)
    This presentation will help attendees understand the social science behind behavior change strategies and how to apply that science to their own efforts to promote sustainability.

    In the first half of the workshop, you’ll be introduced to Cool Choices, a Madison, Wis., group that works with private companies and public entities to engage employees in sustainable practices. Cool Choices will talk about its approach and the results at a variety of public and private workplaces in Wisconsin and Iowa—including county agencies in Wisconsin, a municipal fire department and West Liberty Foods, a meat-processing facility in Iowa.

    In the second half of the presentation, you’ll hear about the Clinton Climate Initiative’s Home Energy Affordability Loan (HEAL) program, an employer-sponsored energy benefit program that addresses the barriers related to residential and commercial energy efficiency upgrades. HEAL helps participating businesses reduce utility expenditures, educate employees about how to save energy at home, and provide individual assistance to employees to help complete energy-saving home improvements. Content will include a description of how HEAL is introduced to and implemented with employers, examples of materials utilized in the HEAL pilot in Michigan, an analysis of energy efficiency measures and energy savings achieved through the pilot, and a discussion on the effectiveness of marketing energy-based programs through the workplace.
  • Complete Streets in Iowa’s Blue Zone
    Sponsored by: HDR Engineering and True North Companies
    Presenters: Chris Malmberg, HDR, Inc. (PDF); and Brent Trout, City of Mason City, Iowa
    In 2012, Gov. Terry Branstad announced that four Iowa communities, including the city of Mason City, would become the first Iowa demonstration sites for the Healthways Blue Zone Project, a community-driven well-being improvement initiative designed to make healthy choices easier through permanent changes to environment, policy, and social networks. In this session, you’ll learn how Mason City, the Iowa Department of Transportation and the Blue Zone Design Team worked together to apply complete streets concepts to the Highway 122 reconstruction project through the heart of the city. The group narrowed traffic lanes, improved intersections, added sidewalks and bike lanes, and installed curb ramps to meet ADA specifications. The cooperative effort found ways to meet the needs of drivers, pedestrians, bicyclists and those with special needs, all while creating a transportation corridor that encourages safer, healthier lifestyles, a cleaner environment and a more sustainable community for all.
  • Economic Growth and Cultural Vibrancy Through Creative Placemaking
    Sponsored by: Shive-Hattery Architecture-Engineering and Gronen Properties-Restoration
    Presenters: Jim Tischler, Director, Michigan State Housing Development Authority, Community Development Division (PDF); and Megan Starr, Art Gumbo Dubuque (PDF)
    This presentation will provide examples of how your community can create jobs, attract tourism and enhance cultural vibrancy through creative placemaking.

    The MIplace Partnership is a collaborative effort of multiple state agencies and the 40-member public/private Sense of Place Council in the state of Michigan. Initiatives of the partnership include: self-assessment and technical assistance tools for local officials and stakeholders; a six module placemaking curriculum and guidebook; and strategic work with state agencies to help them institutionalize placemaking as an economic and community development strategy. In this session one of the principal architects of this initiative will outline the steps in the process, preview the tools, curriculum and guidebook, and honestly discuss barriers and successes.

    In the second half of the presentation, attendees will learn about Art Gumbo Dubuque. Launched four years ago to provide crowd funding for arts and creative placemaking projects, AG has recently introduced “Smart Gumbo,” a crowd-funding source for smart ideas that impact the local economy, promote a healthy environment and enhance cultural vibrancy.
  • Conserving Resources Through Building Deconstruction
    Sponsored by: United Water and Sustainable Dubuque
    Presenters: Kevin Eipperle and Don Seymour of FEH Associates Inc. (PDF)
    Building deconstruction is a widely popular way to divert demolition material from landfills and re-use or recycle building materials. This presentation will explore sustainable approaches to deconstruction of existing buildings that have outlived their usefulness and are not suitable for adaptive reuse. Case studies of recent deconstruction efforts in Council Bluffs, Iowa, (grain elevators), Mankato, Minn., (student housing), and Des Moines (commercial buildings) will be presented. Topics addressed will include furniture, equipment & material diversion for reuse, funding sources, deconstruction methods, public involvement, public relations efforts and recycling statistics.
10:15 – 10:45 am
Browse Exhibitor Booths
Join us in the Exhibit Hall on the ground floor for refreshments, networking and exhibitor demos.
10:45 am – 12:00 pm
Workshop Session 5
  • Mobile Tour
    Tour of Dubuque's New Water & Resource Recovery Center

    The City of Dubuque’s Water & Resource Recovery Center (W&RRC) is a secondary wastewater treatment facility.

    The $67 million conversion from a wastewater treatment facility to the Water & Resource Recovery Center incorporates anaerobic digestion and allows wastewater effluent to be used for geothermal heating and cooling. The facility is powered by alternative energy, collects high strength organics from local businesses and distributes waste product to local farmers as a soil amendment.

    Read More About the Project
  • Local Governments, Social Equity, and Sustainable Communities
    Sponsored by: Greater Dubuque Development Corp. and Sustainable City Network
    Presenters: Jim Svara, University of Carolina Chapel Hill & Arizona State University; and Katherine Takai, Center for Sustainable Communities, International City/County Management Association (ICMA) (PDF)
    Without a commitment to social equity, local governments may only be part-way to achieving true sustainability. They might have programs that protect the natural environment, reduce energy use, or address other aspects of sustainability, but do not strengthen the social foundation for viability.

    Based on research sponsored by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), this presentation will highlight leading practices and achievements of sustainable communities created through a comprehensive, integrated approach to sustainability that is supported by inclusive engagement, equal access to services, and livable neighborhoods. The presentation will include findings from this study and examples from the nine case study communities, as well as a conceptual map for analyzing components of a comprehensive community sustainability program and how social equity is related.

    The audience will leave with a greater awareness of what local governments nation-wide are doing to increase social sustainability and various strategies for increasing social equity through public participation and inclusive programming, especially in communities with diverse and low-income populations; models for engaging in partnerships to address social equity issues; and integrated approaches to sustainability within local government.
  • How Can You Create A More Livable Community?
    Sponsored by: City of Dubuque and Sustainable City Network
    Presenters: Gil Penalosa, 8-80 Cities
    How can we create vibrant and healthy cities for all? What are the benefits for any community to make walking and cycling a normal activity of everyday life? What is the role of streets - the largest public space of any city? How can parks contribute to improve the quality of life that attracts and retains people? Join keynote speaker Gil Penalosa for a highly interactive session in which you'll be able to assess just how livable your own community is and begin a plan to improve it.
  • Pavement Management Planning
    Sponsored by: John Deere and HR Green
    Presenters: Larry Stevens and Jen Winter, HR Green (PDF)
    The infrastructure in the U.S. is deteriorating, and there is just not enough funding to keep up with the demands. Pavement Management Planning is a critical step in asset management for any community. A substantial portion of a communities budget goes towards maintaining and building roadways, and it’s important to know how and where your dollars are being spent. It’s also important to be able to relay this information to the public. This workshop will walk you through several pavement management systems to help you decide on the best option for your community. We have experience ranging from small scale simple plans to large, complex plans and will present several examples as part of the workshop.
  • Universities Connect with Communities Through Sustainability
    Sponsored by: University of Dubuque and United Water
    Presenters: Morgan Appley and Alice Alexandrescu of the Vermillion, S.D. Sierra Club (PDF)-->; and Amy Seeboth and Dr. Tim Zauche, UW-Platteville (PDF)
    College towns are bringing together their student and resident communities through sustainability efforts. This presentation will begin with a discussion about how an environmental movement is building momentum in Vermillion, S.D., with help from a long-standing and active Sierra Club group, a newly created Sustainability Program at the University of South Dakota, and a growing interest in local food through multiple community-supported agriculture farms as well as a farmers’ market.

    The presentation also will discuss a student-driven project that is growing sunflower seeds to turn into food and fuel at the University of Wisconsin – Platteville. The project involved more than 11 local businesses and more than 60 students. Attendees will learn about the project’s production methods and the environmental, health and economic reasons that sunflower oil makes a great crop for our region.
12:05 – 1:45 pm
Luncheon and Keynote Address in the Grand Ballroom
Presenter: Gil Penalosa, Executive Director,8-80 Cities

Gil Penalosa is passionate about cities for all people. Gil advises decision makers and communities on how to create vibrant cities and healthy communities for everyone regardless of social, economic, or ethnic background. His focus is the design and use of parks and streets as great public places, as well as sustainable mobility: walking, cycling and use of public transit.

Because of Gil’s unique blend of pragmatism and passion, his leadership and advice is sought out by many cities and organizations. As Executive Director of the Canadian non-profit organization 8-80 Cities for the past 8 years, Gil has worked in over 150 different cities in all continents.

As former Commissioner of Parks, Sport and Recreation for the City of Bogota, Colombia, Gil successfully led the design and development of over 200 parks of which Simon Bolivar, a 360 hectare park in the heart of the city, is the best known; here he created the Summer Festival, with over 100 events in 10 days and more than 3 million people attending, making it the main annual recreational and cultural event in the country. Gil’s team also initiated the “new Ciclovia”— a program that sees over 1 million people walk, run, skate and bike along 121 kilometers of Bogotá’s city roads every Sunday, and today it’s internationally recognized and emulated.

Gil also works as Urban Expert on Mobility and Citizen Engagement for the renowned Danish firm Gehl Architects. He serves on the Board of Directors of City Parks Alliance, USA, and is a Senior Advisor to StreetFilms in NYC, American Trails and America Walks. Gil holds an MBA from UCLA’s Anderson School of Management, where he recently was selected as one of the “100 Most Inspirational Alumni” in the school’s history. Last year he received the Queen Elizabeth II - Diamond Jubilee Medal, given by the Governor General of Canada, and was named one of the “Top 10 Most Influential Hispanic – Canadians”. Lately Gil also contributed chapters to three books: Enabling Cycling Cities: Ingredients for Success – CIVITAS, Europe; Facilities for Cyclists – Copenhagen, Denmark; Resilient Sustainable Cities, Melbourne, Australia.

Read more about Gil Penalosa.