Akron Metropolitan Area Transportation Study (AMATS), along with the City of Barberton and the Barberton Community Foundation, will host Jason Roberts of Better Block and Charles Marohn of Strong Towns for the Switching Gears Conference. A continental breakfast will be served beginning at 8:30, with the program beginning at 9. Mayor William Judge will be on hand to give an update about recent initiatives in the City of Barberton, followed by presentations from both of our speakers. Lunch will be catered by White House Chicken, and attendees can choose between an afternoon bike ride or guided walk in downtown Barberton.
Chuck Marohn will give two talks:
Curbside Chat (10:45am)
The Curbside Chat is a presentation followed by a community-specific discussion about the financial health of our places.
• Why are our cities and towns so short of resources despite decades of robust growth?
• Why do we struggle at the local level just to maintain our basic infrastructure?
• What do we do now that the economy has changed so dramatically?
The answers lie in the way we have developed; the financial productivity of our places. This stunning presentation is a game-changer for communities looking to grow more resilient and obtain true prosperity during changing times.
Neighborhoods First Break-out Session (1pm)
Risky, low returning projects too often become expensive boondoggles that haunt a community for decades. Public officials everywhere are desperately seeking an alternative. This talk will cover the "Neighborhoods First" approach to show how a community can grow stronger by making small, incremental investments over time. By observing how neighbors live their lives, by asking them where their daily struggles are, by getting out on the street and discovering what is actually going on, any local government can discern what their community’s pressing needs are. These projects are the high return investments and they are all around us.
Read the Neighborhoods First report, based on neighborhoods in Brainerd, MN.
(Top photo source: Barberton Community Foundation)