True Green Cities / From Main Street to Eco-Districts: Greening Our Communities

Market Street in downtown Corning, NY, the location of "From Main Streets to Eco-Districts: Greening Our Communities."

Market Street in downtown Corning, NY, the location of "From Main Streets to Eco-Districts: Greening Our Communities."

Using both historic preservation and green building practices, our cities and neighborhoods are becoming more walkable, “sit-able” (to quote my friend Chuck Wolfe) and vital.  We see cities rethinking their codes and zoning to promote smarter growth, open space preservation and diverse walkable neighborhoods.  We see small cities and urban cores encouraging revitalization projects which focus on rehabilitating “upper floors” of their historic 19th century downtown commercial buildings.  And everyone wants to be as green as possible. I am organizing a two day conference in Corning, New York in May which digs into all of these topics.  AIA Southern New York, the Preservation League of New York State, Market Street Restoration and Corning’s Gaffer District invite  you to the Market Street Restoration project, Corning’s “main street.”  In celebration of Market Street Restoration’s 40th anniversary, attend this two-day conference which features the one-day “Rethinking Downtowns Through a Green Lens” Symposium and the one-day “Making Upper Floors Work Again” Workshop.  Through a combination of keynotes, plenary sessions, and tours, nationally known speakers and local experts will discuss smart growth, downtown revitalization, form-based codes, LEED for Neighborhood Development and green new design and preservation projects. The Finger Lakes in Spring
One of the many vineyards dotting the Finger Lakes.

One of the many vineyards dotting the Finger Lakes.

Explore the oldest revitalized “main street” in the country and earn up to 15 continuing education credits (AIA, GBCI and APA/AICP).  Enjoy the Finger Lakes in spring and participate in GlassFest  - a four-day celebration of glass and fire arts in America’s crystal city.  Located in venues throughout a city known for its natural beauty and innovative technologies. A Conference Full of Keynotes!! Kaid Benfield, Special Counsel for Urban Solutions at the Natural Resources Defense Council, in Washington, DC will lead off the conference.  Kaid is an adjunct professor at the George Washington University School of Law;  co-founder, LEED for Neighborhood Development rating system; co-founder, Smart Growth America coalition; author of several books on smart growth and sprawl, and a regular contributor to the websites The Atlantic Cities, the Sustainable Cities Collective, and NRDC’s Switchboard.  He was selected as one of the world’s “top urban thinkers” on the city planning website Planetizen and one of "the most influential people in sustainable planning and development" by the Partnership for Sustainable Communities.  Kaid has just published People Habitat: 25 Ways to Think about Greener, Healthier Cities. 
Kaid Benfield, one of the rock stars in the smart growth world and preservation world, is the opening keynote.

Kaid Benfield, one of the rock stars in the smart growth world and preservation world, is the opening keynote.

People Habitat explores topics as diverse as “green” housing developments that are no such thing, the tricky matter of gentrifying inner cities, why people don’t walk much anymore, and the relationship between cities and religion.  Written with intellect, insight, and from-the-heart candor, each real-world story in People Habitat will make you see our communities in a new light. Note from Kaid about People Habitat: Environmentalists used to think of cities as a source of environmental problems, but I see them as a source of environmental solutions, enabling living patterns that reduce pollution and consumption. At their best, they also support efficient commerce and nurture the human spirit. People Habitat is a collection of thoughts about how to maximize cities’ endless potential to support greener, healthier living. Norman Mintz of  Norman Mintz Design Associates in Brooklyn, NY opens the second day. Norman is one of the pioneers of the Main Street movement. He is an Industrial Designer and a Historic Preservationist who specializes in providing solutions on matters of Urban Design, Organization and Management while encouraging community participation in all aspects of the downtown revitalization process.
Norman Mintz, one of the founders of the "main street" movement, is the opening keynote for day two of the conference

Norman Mintz, one of the founders of the "main street" movement, is the opening keynote for day two of the conference

His professional career in downtown revitalization began with his direction of the nationally acclaimed Market Street Restoration Project in Corning, New York, where he initiated the role and became recognized as this country’s first Main Street Manager - an essential position now incorporated by hundreds of revitalization programs around the nation. After two decades of providing consulting services and working with two large Business Improvement Districts in Manhattan (Bryant Park Corporation and the 34th Street Partnership), Mr. Mintz now serves as a Senior Associate for Project for Public Spaces (PPS). Based upon his extensive “hands on”  experience, he facilitates PPS ongoing workshops on Placemaking, emphasizing project implementation and Making It Happen. Mr. Mintz is co-author of the book, Cities Back From The Edge: New Life For Downtown, published by John Wiley & Sons. The book chronicles stories from around the country and illustrates how dozens of commercial neighborhoods, Main Streets and big city business districts have revitalized their commercial centers using small scale innovative programs that encourage local businesses and overall community involvement. The book has received an overwhelmingly positive response and recognition as a “must read”.
Stay for a few days and find out what a "gaffer" does!

Stay for a few days and find out what a "gaffer" does!

Every biography for each of our 14 speakers reads as impressive as Kaid’s and Norman’s and in fact each of them are typically keynotes at conferences themselves.  We offer you a conference full of keynotes!!  Please review the conference details.  You can experience all of this for under $200 in one the most glorious locations in America. Hope to see you  in May!   Please contact me if you questions or would like to reserve your spot.  aiasny.workshop@gmail.com And if you’d like to “subscribe” or follow my blog, True Green Cities, please sign up through the “Subscribe” button at the bottom left of this page. You’ll receive a daily recap when new blogs are posted. Or Sign up for the Feed.  
© Copyright Barbara Campagna – True Green Cities - 2011-2013