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Extras lined up for New Partners for Smart Growth conference, make your hotel reservation soon...

The 16th annual version of the nation’s largest multi-disciplinary, smart growth and sustainability conference will be in St. Louis, February 2-4, 2017.
Feb 2, 2017
St. Louis, MO


This multi-disciplinary event will feature tools, strategies, focused trainings, innovative learning opportunities and new technologies that will help communities now. The conference program features more than 80 informative sessions and implementation workshops spanning three full days – plus terrific local tours, intriguing indoor parklets, and a new fab lab at the ever-popular technology fair.

HANDS-ON EXPERIENCES: Come a day or two early and get involved in practical projects connected to the conference as New Partners provides technical assistance in the St. Louis region. Through hands-on installations, neighborhood implementation actions and “how-to” workshops, we’re also ensuring that we provide focused technical assistance and tangible leave-behinds that will continue to have a positive, lasting impact after the conference leaves St. Louis.

BIKE LANE POP-UP! As part of its pre-conference tactical-urbanism activities, this pop-up demonstration will help St. Louis residents and city officials learn more about the potential benefits of a permanent protected bike lane in this location (February 1st, on Pine St. between 7th and 9th), including improved safety and bikeability. Join local and national experts, conference participants, and local leaders for this exciting experiment as part of New Partners’ hands-on, technical-assistance efforts in St. Louis. Join local residents for a unique and impactful hands-on learning experience. The pop-up will take place between 8:00-3:00.

FREE IMPLEMETNATION WORKSHOP! New Partners will offer a FREE workshop open to the public and conference participants on “D.I.Y. Great Cities: What to Do, Why Do It and How to Get It Done” at the Marriott (Wednesday, February 1st from 1:00-6:00). This half-day workshop will show you how community art, pop-up design, crowdfunding, youth engagement and other elements can help you quickly identify local challenges and implement innovative solutions that aren’t expensive yet can have a big impact. Workshop leaders include local and national placemaking and smart-growth experts, as well as community leaders showcasing exciting local projects. No need to register, just show up 30 minutes early to sign in!

IT’S GOING TO BE EPIC …with the addition of an all-day workshop on the EPA’s Educational Partnerships for Innovation in Communities (EPIC) to our menu of engaging pre-conference activities. The all-day, February 1st forum (9:00 am-5:00 pm) will introduce university and local-government representatives to EPIC’s adaptable and replicable campus-community partnership model now in place at more than two-dozen colleges and universities across the country. These partnerships help communities become more sustainable and resilient, build resource capacity within universities, and provide students with real-world experience.

Check out our webpage for more about these exciting pre-conference activities:

TECH FAIR GETS FAB: The interactive Tech Fair is always a big hit at New Partners, and this year we’re taking it up a notch with a variety of tech innovators at the “Friday Fab Lab” – a dynamic, hands-on opportunity to explore the newest tools in planning and smart growth. With a focus on fabrication technology and the maker movement, the Fab Lab will showcase high-tech tools ranging from 3-D printers to drone technology and 360-degree virtual-reality video to low-tech/high-touch tools like simple kits for protected bike lanes and DIY playgrounds.

TOURS AND PARKLETS: Don’t just talk about smart growth – come to New Partners 2017 and see it! Beyond the illuminating sessions, we will have 17 optional tours of local model projects that explore dynamic revitalization in urban and suburban neighborhoods, support for the arts, green building and industrial redevelopment, “knowledge communities,” innovations in local food systems, transportation equity and sustainable energy in affordable housing. Check out housing regeneration by bike, and waterfront renaissance on foot. And don’t forget the ever-popular Indoor Parklet Experience!

MAKE SMART GROWTH A YEAR-ROUND AFFAIR: Extend your New Partners conference learning and networking into a year-round experience with Infinite Earth Lab, a state-of-the-art training program and networking platform for local sustainability and equity leaders around the country. Learn vital skills and a proven 7-step process that produces outstanding results through your everyday work by taking one concrete step each month. Become a Charter Member of Infinite Earth Lab at the discounted pre-conference price of $97 when you sign up through the online conference registration system.

LAST WEEK FOR HOTEL GROUP RATE: The group rate is available through Monday, January 9. Book your hotel room this week at the special $125 group rate at the Marriott St. Louis Grand Hotel, while you’re signing up for the conference. Call (800) 397-1282 to make a reservation, and indicate you are attending the New Partners Conference.

GET LOTS OF CREDIT: We expect most of the conference sessions to be approved for accreditation for AICP planners and landscape architects.

See the New Partners for Smart Growth conference website. Web link:

Published on:
January 2, 2017 - 12:00am
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