GreenTown Conference Archives
GreenTown: The Future of Community is a two-day experience designed to help create sustainable communities. Mayors and elected officials, public works directors, park district directors, planners, developers, architects, landscape architects, builders, school leaders and others interested in seeing how a community can become greener, will gather on September 9-10, 2010, in Grand Rapids, Michigan to hear from inspiring speakers, learn from been-there case studies and discuss actionable ways to make communities greener, healthier and more prosperous.
GreenTown 2007 – Oak Park, Illinois
Over 300 municipal mayors, managers, and staff joined private sector developers, architects, and business leaders on September 19 to learn more about leading green practices and how the public and private sectors are working together to redefine community design.
The event, co-produced by Seven Generations Ahead and a5, a Chicago-based strategic communications firm, and sponsored by the Village of Oak Park, featured green visionary and renowned architect William McDonough as keynote speaker, whose talk inspired and captivated the crowd that packed the historic Frank Lloyd Wright Unity Temple.
SGA Executive Director Gary Cuneen noted, “It was truly an historic event to witness perhaps the most influential green architect of our day deliver an address for the ages in this extraordinary house of worship built by one of the greatest architects of all time.”
In addition to McDonough, conference workshops included case studies on green conservation community developments, public-private solar homes projects, water conservation technologies, residential food scrap collection and municipal composting programs, LEED certified municipal building and school projects, municipal wind-power procurement, public and private sector green building incentives, green street scaping initiatives, and more.
GreenTown 2008 – Aurora, Illinois
An audience of 300 people including mayors and elected officials, city managers, public works and park district directors, planners, developers, builders, architects, landscape architects and engineers assembled at the Paramount Theatre in downtown Aurora, Illinois on Thursday, October 2nd to participate in the second GreenTown: The Future of Community conference co-produced by SGA and a5 group, inc.
The one-day conference was highlighted by a superb line-up of morning keynotes and presentations, including Terry Tamminen, Gov. Schwarzenegger’s environmental and energy policy advisor, who shared his thoughts on the cost of our nation’s current oil addiction and strategies for kicking the habit; Mayor Bob Dixson of Greensburg, Kansas, who told the amazing story of Greensburg’s post-tornado rebuilding efforts, including LEED Platinum standards for new building construction; City of Aurora Mayor Tom Weisner, who addressed Aurora’s sustainable city development initiatives; U.S. Congressman Bill Foster and his commitment to the national sustainability agenda; Adele Simmons, Vice Chair of the Burnham Plan Centennial Committee, who outlined the sustainable vision of the Burnham Plan Centennial; and Dean Kubani, Sustainability Director of the City of Santa Monica, who presented the city’s formula for creating what some consider the most sustainable small city in the nation.
Participants also attended a diverse selection of afternoon workshops, including green procurement strategies and policies, local food procurement for schools in Illinois, ecological site restoration, Toronto’s residential food residuals diversion and composting program, brownfield and riverfront development projects; utility-led energy efficiency programs; water conservation issues and strategies for the Great Lakes region; and a closing panel of mayors, builders, and developers on the challenges and opportunities related to creating “green” towns.
"When people in communities come together to talk about where their city or town is headed, and they begin to talk about creating an environmentally effective community, change happens," says a5 Principal John Harris. "We see it happening already, and hopefully through GreenTown more communities will learn how to make decisions that will have a positive impact on citizens' lives for generations to come."