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.
Programming sessions subject to change without notice.
Tuesday, Oct. 7, 2014
9:00 – 10:00 am
10:00 – 11:30 am
Workshop Session 1
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 neighbrohoods, 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.
- Unlocking Your Potential for Clean Energy
Sponsored by: Optony, Inc.
In this presentation, Michael Ahern 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.
Presenters: Michael Ahern, Ever-Green Energy; Benjamin Foster, Optony; and Daryoush Allaei of SheerWind Inc.; and Andrea Lauer, Mayor City of Royalton, Minn.
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.
Daryoush Allaei of SheerWind, Inc., and Andrea Lauer, mayor of Royalton, Minn., will describe how the City of Royalton used innovative financing methods to provide wind power to its industrial park and solar power to its city hall.
- Urban Forestry Panel Discussion
Sponsored by: Shive-Hattery Architecture-Engineering
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.
Presenters: Peter MacDonagh, The Kestrel Design Group; Edith Makra, Metropolitan Mayors Caucus; and Beth Corrigan, the Morton Arboretum
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
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 – 4:30 pm
Workshop Session 3
- The Saint Paul Sustainable Building Policy - A Model of Flexibility & Accountability
Presenters: Kurt Schultz, City of Saint Paul, Minn.; 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.
Presenter: Matt Covert, 1000 Friends of Wisconsin
This presentation will address quality of life in urban areas as it relates to walkability and the pedestrian experience. It will chart an ongoing series of projects and initiatives to improve the walking environment in downtown Madison, Wis., and how we can understand streets as true public spaces worthy of investment. This presentation also will include audience participation in the form of a group discussion that will help reveal the complex elements and factors that influence walkability.
Luncheon and Keynote Address in the Grand Ballroom
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.