Reconnecting America President and CEO John Robert Smith will be in Tallahassee, FL, Dec. 13 to discuss "Regional Opportunity Atlas, Gulf Coast Passenger Rail Restoration" at the Tallahassee City Hall Commission Chambers. Discussions are underway to revive the defunct Amtrak commuter rail line in Tallahassee, and redeveloping the station near Florida A&M's campus. Amtrak Gulf Coast Connector's Sunset Limited was discontinued in late 2005 after Hurricane Katrina destroyed many of the tracks.
Reconnecting America Policy Director Sarah Kline will address the Friendship Heights Transportation Management District Advisory Committee on Dec. 11. Kline will make a presentation entitled "Transit oriented development and ‘complete communities’."
HUD is gathering all of the grantees from its Sustainable Communities grant program for a three-day convening in Washington, DC, to share lessons learned, spotlight success stories and receive feedback on grant activities to date. As a Capacity Building grantee, Reconnecting America staff Catherine Cox Blair, Abby Thorne-Lyman, Chris Yake and Sasha Forbes will be attending and presenting on implementation tools and strategies for creating more livable and sustainable communities in the grantee regions. These presentations will include sessions on affordable housing tools to prevent displacement and using typologies in corridor and regional planning.
Reconnecting America's Abigail Thorne-Lyman, the director of the Center for Transit-Oriented Development, will be speaking at the Lousiana Smart Growth Summit in Baton Rouge on Aug. 27. The Louisiana Smart Growth Summit is an annual convening in downtown Baton Rouge of elected officials, engaged citizens and local, national, and international experts in community planning and growth. The 2012 summit will focus on the smart economics of Smart Growth.
Reconnecting America Chief of Staff Allison Brooks will be in Vancouver,BC, to continue the series of workshops introducing Arup employees, through their Arup University program, to the concept of transit-oriented development. This part is facilitated by Patrick Condon at the University of British Columbia. Through lectures, discussions, and site visits, participants in the workshop will learn about the different efforts going on in the Bay Area coordinating land-use, investments and public policy in order to support compact, walkable, mixed-use development in neighborhoods with high-quality public transit.
Reconnecting America President and CEO John Robert Smith will be in New York on Oct. 24 for the Designing Cities: Leading the Way to World Class Streets conference put on by the National Association of City Transportation Officials. Smith will be participating in a panel discussion on the topic of Getting Value from TOD. More about the conference.
Reconnecting America Policy Director Sarah Kline will participate in a panel discussion at the McGraw Hill Construction Business Builders Forum on Oct. 23 in Washington, DC. The panel will explore the implications of the new federal transportation bill and discuss how future infrastructure needs will be met.
In October 2012, 43 of the nation’s young urban leaders met up in St. Louis for the Next American City Vanguard conference, an annual competition to find the “40-under-40” urban leaders who have “bright ideas for cities, experience in the field and ambition for the future.” I was honored to take part in the two-day conference and meet some of my peers from around the country while also experiencing the sights and sounds that make the city of St. Louis one of America’s great cities.