2018 Conference Highlights

More than 800 participants from across the country came together February 1-3, 2018 in San Francisco, CA for the 17th Annual New Partners for Smart Growth Conference.
The conference featured 8 in-depth thematic tracks, over 50 sessions, and 200 speakers– all coming together to equip and inspire policymakers and community leaders to improve the equity and livability in their communities.

Conference Presentations

Nearly all of the presentations given at the New Partners Conference are available for FREE! Presentations are organized under their respective sessions on the program page.
Opening plenary – Getting to Just Growth and Shared Prosperity
Kate Meis
Executive Director, Local Government Commission
Manuel Pastor
Professor of Sociology and American Studies, University of Southern California
Glenn Harris
President, Race Forward; Publisher, Colorlines
Closing plenary – Subnational Leadership: Smart-Growth Solutions for Red and Blue Leaders
Karen Freeman-Wilson
Mayor, City of Gary, Indiana
Gregory Hughes
Speaker, Utah House of Representatives

Great conference, lots of fantastic knowledge sharing, let’s take this energy and continue our important work. We have lots to accomplish together.

– Bill Schleizer

Unequivocally, the New Partners for Smart Growth conference is the premier national gathering of experts, game changers and community advocates who understand the need for smart and empathetic approaches to solve our greatest social, environmental and economic challenges.

– 2018 Conference Attendee

As a first time attendee, I was impressed with the breadth of topics and ability to network directly with other professionals—-Two of which offered valuable and direct solutions to specific issues that I am facing locally

– 2018 Conference Attendee

Great place for sharing ideas about the connections between land-use planning, resilience, smart-growth, and other topics about sustainability and development.

– 2018 Conference Attendee

The conference brought together national leaders and best practices across disciplines. Now more than ever, we need these cross-cutting discussions to address our communities’ challenges.

– 2018 Conference Attendee

Eight Thematic Tracks

This year’s New Partners for Smart Growth conference featured 8 NEW thematic tracks designed to provide conference attendees with a deeper dive into topics strongly connected to timely community issues and challenges, while keeping smart growth and equity as threads woven throughout.

Climate: Adapting to a Changing Climate
Rural: Building Capacity in Small Towns and Rural Communities
Equity: Inclusive Prosperity of People and Place
Smart Growth: Planning and Designing Smart Growth Communities
Health: Designing Healthy Communities
Transportation: Improving Transportation Accessibility and Connectivity
Housing: Creating Housing for Everyone
Water: “One Water” for Resilient Communities
We’d like to thank all our conference partners – sponsors, promotional partners, committee members and volunteers – who helped make this event a success! Check out our ‘Important Thank You’ page and our Sponsors and Promotional Partners pages to see all the important NPSG 18 friends, partners, and sponsors!
Tours and Optional Workshops

Over 150 participants attended one of this year’s 10 exciting conference tours taking place Wednesday (1/31), Thursday (2/1) and Saturday (2/3). Participants explored the San Francisco Bay Area while witnessing and learning about smart growth topics and issues that affect the local bay area communities and beyond.

69 attendees participated in the Advancing Racial Equity: Seizing the Moment pre-conference workshop hosted by the Local and Regional Government Alliance on Race & Equity (GARE) and learned about GARE’s theory of change, and how those theories have been put into practice by a range of jurisdictions from throughout California and across the country.

Wildfire Recovery in Wine Country: Community Revitalization & Housing Futures Special Lunchtime Session. During the conference lunch break on Friday February 2nd, Santa Rosa Mayor Chris Coursey and Tennis “JT” Wick, Sonoma County’s Permit and Resource Management Director, discussed their post-fire activities and how those responses fit within the broader pre-fire, housing-affordability crisis in the area. Laurie Johnson, Principal of Laurie Johnson Consulting and an international expert on disaster reconstruction and the economics of catastrophes, provided additional context to these disaster-recovery efforts by looking at the massive loss of housing stock that occurred after other major disasters.

Conference at Your Fingertips

This years mobile app put the conference at participants’ fingertips, allowing them to get the most up-to-date information about the program and special events, build their own schedule on their mobile device, and easily network with other smart-growth professionals at the event.

Over the course of the three-day conference, there were:

  • 537 Active users
  • 494 Updates
  • 336 Ratings

Four interactive parklets were part of this year’s New Partners for Smart Growth Conference- giving participants a change of the regular conference scenery and new opportunities to network, learn, and explore.

Download the Parklets Poster!
This years parklets were:
Tactile Educational Forest Parklet
Tiny Wonderful Parklet
PlaceIt! Interactive Model Parklet
commUNITY station: Connecting People and Place Parklet