|RMWULS | FEBRUARY 27, 2013 | TIME: 7:30AM – 4:30PM|
|HYATT REGENCY AT COLORADO CONVENTION CENTER | 650 15TH ST | DENVER, CO 80202|
|• JUMP TO PRESENTATIONS BELOW •|
The 2013 RMWULS was a daylong, invitation-only event. It was designed through a collaborative effort in 2010 so the cities within the region could come together to share best practices, lessons learned and visions for the future of the Rocky Mountain West. The Symposium consisted of a series of inspiring speakers along with facilitated breakout sessions to encourage dialogue with topic experts and Rocky Mountain West leaders.
“Building great cities is an art that requires all of the creative tools found in the public-, private- and non-profit sectors,” said Tami Door, CEO & President of the Downtown Denver Partnership. “It is the convergence of these sectors through events like the Rocky Mountain West Urban Leadership Symposium that brings the masterpiece to life.”
The goals of the Rocky Mountain West Urban Leadership Symposium are to create a platform for idea sharing and establish an understanding of the roles of urban centers relative to the broader Rocky Mountain West region. From there, organizers hope to leverage private and public sector resources to maximize opportunities related to economic development, innovation, place making, health, sustainability, transportation and education.
Denver Mayor Michael B. Hancock stressed the importance of collaboration in the Rocky Mountain West Region, “we don’t compete with each other in this region, we compete together against the world.”
“We’re working together to create an urban environment [in Salt Lake City] and then we’re supporting it,” said the Mayor of Salt Lake City, Ralph Becker, to the audience during the Mayor’s panel that featured three mayors from the Rocky Mountain West. Joining him were Mayor Hancock and Mayor David Bieter, City of Boise, Idaho.
The program featured speakers such as Zach Ware, Lead Developer for Zappos Downtown Las Vegas project; Helle Søholt, founding partner and managing director of Gehl Architects; and Robert Lang, co-director, Brookings Mountain West whose presentations focused on three key themes: urbanism, leadership and innovation.
These inspirational presentations and the energy of the audience prompted highly interactive conversations about key factors affecting the region’s urban centers. Symposium attendees participated in eight Rocky Mountain Roundtables and discussed the challenges, opportunities and best practices in attracting the new work force and attracting talent, transportation and infrastructure, homelessness, housing, arts and culture, sustainability, and health and wellness.
The symposium concluded with a panel focusing on urbanism’s triple threats: transportation, housing and sustainability and a lively discussion between panelists John Norquist, President of Congress for the New Urbanism; Shelley Poticha, Director U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Office of Sustainable Housing and Communities; Jeffrey Tumlin, Principal, Nelson/Nygaard Consulting Associates, Inc.; and moderator by Brad Buchanan, Principal at RNL.
“In an era of Federal and state budget constraints, cities increasingly rely on their own ability to generate tax base,” said John Norquist, President, Congress for the New Urbanism. “Community design and place making have become the focus of development strategies for cities and suburbs. Effective street design, infrastructure investment, coding and zoning are essential in creating successful communities.”