Inspiration and Implementation

The Local Government Commission (LGC) and its conference partners are pleased to announce some exciting changes to the New Partners for Smart Growth Conference program.

The 2018 program will feature eight focused thematic tracks that will provide participants an opportunity for a more dynamic, hands-on learning experience.

With these new changes to the program, LGC is undertaking a new approach to program development. LGC is working with closely with several subcommittees — one for each of the eight tracks — to develop six sessions dynamic within each.

Eight Thematic Tracks

LGC is working closely with with several subcommittees — one for each of the eight tracks — to develop six sessions dynamic within each. Each track will focus on a set of topics strongly connected to timely community issues or challenges, with smart growth as the thread woven between and throughout each track. As the sessions are developed within each track, a strong focus on equity, diversity, and inclusion will be applied.

The 2018 program will allow participants to go deeper into a topic, while continuing to connect back to broader placemaking efforts with a multidisciplinary group of partners tackling community challenges. Each track will be designed to create a peer cohort of practitioners that leave with an implementation strategy and new models, tools, and financing strategies to achieve their community goals.

  1. Strengthening Rural Communities (economic development, transportation, land preservation, smart growth implementation, urban-rural interface, broadband access, tribal partnerships)
  2. Creating Sustainable Water Systems (water infrastructure, stormwater, flood protection, green infrastructure, coastal development)
  3. Addressing Our Changing Climate (climate change mitigation, adaptation, disaster preparedness and recovery, climate justice, energy efficiency and renewable energy)
  4. Improving Transportation Accessibility and Connectivity (active transportation, shared mobility, transportation network companies, autonomous vehicles, transit, transit-oriented development, parking, street design, complete streets, safe routes to school)
  5. Designing Healthy Communities (healthy food access, active living, communities for all ages, universal design, environmental justice)
  6. Building Fair and Affordable Housing (affordable housing, real estate development, fair housing/lending, rental housing, missing middle, transit oriented development)
  7. Planning and Designing Smart-Growth Communities (infill development, corridor redevelopment, suburban retrofits, vacant properties, brownfields, arts and placemaking, regional planning, environmental justice)
  8. Inclusive Prosperity of People and Place (structural racism, equitable development, environmental justice, fair growth, displacement, community development, social equity)
Session Types Under Each Track

Every track will include one session from each of the session types below, each scheduled in the same order.

Context-setting: would define the current state of the topic e.g. the current state of housing and related challenges, threats, and opportunities (including funding, political, etc.)

Emerging Trends: would include changing demographics, technological advancements, lifestyle choices and market trends, and implications of trends (could include policy implications)

Model Projects/Case Studies: would include presentations of real-world case studies from a range of community types and different geographical locations that illustrate the strategies discussed in each track (would have a strong policy lens)

Innovative Tools and Technologies: would include NEW tools that cover scenario planning and other visualization tools, engagement and social networking tools, environmental, and/or health impact analysis tools, mapping tools, etc.)

Financing & Development: would include financing strategies and fundraising tools, creative investment strategies and partnerships

Implementation Planning Workshops: would include facilitated discussions around 3-5 potential implementation policy and program strategies per track aimed at helping participants develop a preliminary roadmap defining specific next steps post-conference

Mobile Workshops/Tours

For the 2018 New Partners Conference, LGC will be working directly with the Local Planning Committee and track subcommittees to develop mobile workshops and tours that complement the different thematic tracks in the program. Tour development will take place in August and early September 2018.

If you have an idea for a dynamic tour that you think should be discussed with the Local Planning Committee, please send a brief description of the tour and which of the eight thematic tracks it would fall under (no more than 200 words) to Khrystyna Platte at

Reduced Registration Fees for Speakers

Due to severe budget constraints this year, all speakers and moderators will be required to register and pay a significantly reduced fee to participate in the conference.

  • Speakers wishing to attend only on the day they are presenting will pay a $95 speaker rate (the early-bird one-day rate for participants is $195).
  • Speakers wishing to attend one or more additional days of the conference will pay a $225 speaker rate (the early-bird full conference rates for participants range from $375-$425).

LGC will provide the necessary registration access codes directly to each confirmed speaker in October 2017. Speakers MUST use the links that we provide them to register for the conference.

Speaker Travel Assistance

Due to severe budget constraints this year, LGC has a very limited speaker travel budget for this event. In addition to having to pay a nominal speaker registration fee, most speakers will not be offered travel assistance to participate in the conference. In an effort to assist as many speakers as possible who truly need assistance, we negotiate travel assistance on a case-by-case basis. We start with some basic principles, described below:

  • We do not pay any speaking fees or honoraria.
  • As a general rule, speakers representing small nonprofits, grassroots and community organizations, and local governments are given priority in allocating our limited travel funds.
  • We ask speakers to determine what costs they can cover on their own before asking for any assistance.In nearly all cases, we cannot cover all travel expenses for any one speaker. If assistance is needed and funds are available, we will offer to split the cost of major travel expenses like airfare and hotel, or cover one or the other.
  • We do not cover hotel expenses for speakers who do not need an overnight stay to give their presentation, or additional travel expenses associated with a speaker choosing to stay for the full conference.
  • We do not provide travel assistance to more than one speaker from the same organization/agency speaking in the same session.