GVMC Conference Is Today

June 12, 2003
| By Katy Rent |
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GRAND RAPIDS — In an effort to work on issues that connect them, 300 West Michigan community leaders will come together today at the Frederik Meijer Gardens for the 2003 Growing Communities Conference.

The Grand Valley Metro Council will bring together a comprehensive group of experts to lead discussions with local officials about:

  • Continuity between communities.

  • Metro planning and smart growth.

  • Interconnecting urban places with nature.

  • New ways of moving data throughout the region.

  • Using GIS software for planning purposes.

  • Linking Michigan communities through broadband.

The keynote speaker of the conference will be James Howard Kunstler, author of “Geography of Nowhere” and “Home from Nowhere,” as well as eight other novels. Kunstler is a regular contributor to the New York Times Sunday Magazine and op-ed page, where he has written on environmental and economic issues.

Kunstler will address problems of suburban sprawl and what area leaders can do to create more rewarding and economically sustainable everyday environments.

A special feature of the conference is a panel discussion with members of the Governor’s Land Use Leadership Council. The council is charged by Gov. Jennifer Granholm with evaluating growth and development in Michigan and making recommendations for better management of the area’s public investment in supporting infrastructure.

During the conference, the Metropolitan Development Blueprint Award will be given to someone who has helped West Michigan fulfill the mission of the Grand Valley Metro Council. The Blueprint Award recognizes new land development practices, better transit opportunities, saving open spaces and improving neighborhoods with street design.

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