National Event Features Federal Partnerships, Environmental Justice, & Smart Growth in the Face of Economically Uncertain Times

National Event Features Federal Partnerships, Environmental Justice, & Smart Growth in the Face of Economically Uncertain Times

Local Government Commission

This premier smart growth conference will feature an evening plenary on Thursday, February 4th entitled "New Federal Partners for Smart Growth: Leadership to Create Sustainable Communities Across America." This plenary will feature U.S. EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson (confirmed), U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood (confirmed), and U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan (invited). The three federal leaders will provide a perspective on the federal Sustainable Communities Partnership, which seeks to integrate federal decision-making to promote sustainable, livable communities across the country. The session will highlight the challenges and opportunities the three departments have faced during their collaboration and will provide ideas for how local and state leaders can partner with federal government to implement the sustainability principles that guide the Sustainable Communities Partnership's efforts.

The morning plenary on February 5th will feature Angela Glover Blackwell, President and CEO of PolicyLink, a national research and action institute that advances economic and social equity, and Majora Carter, President of the Majora Carter Group, LLC and founder of the non-profit environmental justice organization Sustainable South Bronx. In this plenary, titled "Smart Growth at the Intersection of Environmental Justice and Green Jobs," Glover Blackwell and Carter will describe how smart growth approaches to development can contribute to a truly sustainable economy that will not only enhance environmental protection but will also lift people out of poverty. They will share perspectives on how smart growth can foster affordable housing, neighborhood revitalization, transportation options, healthy communities, and green, sustainable employment opportunities for all.

The Friday program will also include a special keynote luncheon entitled "The State of Smart Growth in a Climate of Economic Uncertainty" and will feature two leaders in community development and market research who will discuss what the U.S. economic crisis has meant for communities across the country. Gadi Kaufmann, Managing Director and CEO of the real estate market research firm Robert Charles Lesser & Co. (RCLCO) will share about the current state of smart growth in the context of current economic conditions, based on market research on the performance of smart growth development compared to traditional development. Doris Koo, CEO of the community development organization Enterprise Community Partners, will discuss how community development corporations are being responsive to the economic crisis and what current economic conditions mean for those who are working to reinvest in their communities and to implement smart growth practices on the ground.

Other plenary sessions on the program will cover the topics of climate change and the important role of partnerships in implementing smart growth. For more details on all of the plenaries and the other 90-plus conference sessions, please visit:

Registration and Hotel Reservations: Register online now for the conference, and before the January 15 deadline at The special $159 room rate at the Seattle Sheraton Hotel is available until January 13. Make your reservations now as the hotel is expected to sell out.

Posted December 30, 2009

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