Policymaker Workshop

Light after the Storm: Strategies for Revitalization after the Recession

A Workshop Specifically for Local Elected Officials

Wednesday, January 28, 12:00 – 5:30 PM
Accredited by: CM 5.5

As cities and towns begin to emerge from the recession, local governments are looking forward to revitalizing their communities. This new workshop offers local elected officials from across the country a chance to hear from their colleagues across the country — as well as developers — who are making sustainable, mixed-use, transit-oriented development happen. Find out how to get projects in the ground, what types of infill projects developers are looking for – and what would make them invest in your community.

We’ll also examine innovative ways to fund sustainability projects – from social-impact investing to crowdsourcing to group purchasing communities – and take advantage of adaptive-reuse opportunities.

As technological tools are increasingly being used to foster community development and local economic growth, the workshop will also explore innovative strategies such as the use of online crowdsourcing platforms that give residents the ability to be directly involved in transforming their neighborhood and builders a productive venue to vet ideas and build support early in the project process.

Sustainable revitalization needs to make development work for everybody. The workshop will include a candid conversation with policymakers and others about models for assuring that development provides equal access to local jobs and affordable housing. Learn more about solutions that bring sustainable economic vitality and equitable development, while managing displacement of communities who stand to benefit from revitalization.

Lunch, coffee break and a post-workshop networking reception are included. The workshop is free for local elected officials, but preregistration is required. This workshop is presented by the Local Government Commission and Smart Growth America, and sponsored by OppSites.

Local Government CommissionSmart Growth AmericaSmart Growth America

Wednesday – Workshop Program

12:00 PM Welcome, Lunch & Kick-Off Speaker

Welcome & Introduction of Board Chairs:

Kate Meis, Executive Director, Local Government Commission

Geoffrey Anderson, President and CEO, Smart Growth America

Jake Mackenzie, Rohnert Park Council Member and Local Government Commission Board Chair

Bill Henry, Baltimore Council Member and Smart Growth America Advisory Board Member

Kick-Off Speaker:

Parris Glendening, Former Governor of the State of Maryland and President of Smart Growth America’s Leadership Institute
Presentation PDF

1:30 – 3:00 PM
Session: Attracting investors and financing great projects

The market has been consistently saying yes to vibrant, walkable communities, and this development approach offer big returns in revitalization, sustainability and fiscal stability.  In this session hear insights and advice from the investment community and city leadership about how to make your community attractive to investors and creative ways to fund infill, mixed-use and transit-oriented development.


Neha Bhatt, Deputy Director of Policy Development & Implementation, Smart Growth America


Tom Murphy, Former Mayor of Pittsburgh, PA

Peg Moertl, Senior Vice President for Community Development Banking, PNC
Presentation PDF

Ian Wolfe Ross, Co-Founder & CEO, OppSites
Presentation PDF

3:00 – 3:30 PM Coffee Break
3:30 – 5:00 PM Session: Making Development Work for All

This session will be a candid conversation among local policymakers on models for assuring that development provides equal access to local jobs and affordable housing. Participants will share examples of challenges that their communities are facing in managing displacement as they work to revitalize their communities and neighborhoods. Successful strategies that are being used will be discussed as local governments look for solutions that ensure existing residents can enjoy the benefits of community revitalization.


Deeohn Ferris, President, Sustainable Community Development Group


Andrew M. Fellows, Mayor, City of College Park

Bill Henry, Baltimore Council Member and Smart Growth America Advisory Board Member


Jake Mackenzie, Rohnert Park Council Member and Local Government Commission Board Vice-Chair

5:00 – 6:30 PM Networking Reception

Policymaker Workshop

Special Features

Get details on optional workshops, networking activities, special events, and other conference features.

Equitable Development

Healthy Food Systems

Speacial Features

It’s exciting that Baltimore is the site of this year’s New Partners conference because in many ways it is the embodiment of the long evolution of equitable development and the inclusion of environmental justice in these important disciplines – a fitting setting to continue that work by focusing on real-world implementation of equity and justice in the development of our communities.

Matthew Tejada
Director - Office of Environmental Justice Environmental Protection Agency