Welcome! We're excited to see you in Tulsa, OK for our first ever national summit, March 30 - April 1. On the tabs below, you'll find information about the agenda, hotel, transportation options and more. Want some basic info about the summit? Visit the main page.
Thursday, March 30:
7pm: Curbside Chat for Tulsa residents and summit attendees who are interested
8:30pm: Casual gathering at Fassler Hall (304 S Elgin Ave)
Friday, March 31:
Most events at BOK Tower's Williams Center (One Williams Center, WRC-1)
8:30 am: Event kick-off with Strong Towns President, Chuck Marohn
9:10 am: #NoNewRoads presentation by Ashwat Narayanan
10:20 am: 1st small group workshop session (see Workshop tab for more info)
11:30am: 2nd small group workshop session
12:30pm Lunch Break
2 pm: Live Strong Towns Podcast recording with two former mayors: Michael McGinn of Seattle, WA and Joey Durel of Lafayette, LA
3 pm: Presentation of Strong Towns transportation policy statement & small group working time to refine the document (more info on this when you arrive at the Summit)
4 pm: Better Block presentation by Jason Roberts
5 pm: Closing thoughts from Chuck Marohn
5:30pm: Dinner with your fellow summit attendees
8 pm: PechaKucha presentations at Fly Loft (117 N. Boston Ave, Room 208) Arrive early as space is limited.
9 pm: Optional pub crawl
Saturday, April 1:
Location: Cox Business Center (100 Civic Center)
9 am: Chuck Marohn presents refined transportation policy statement
9:30 am: Open Source small group working time to discuss issues, ideas and next steps
11:30 am: Closing discussion with Chuck Marohn
12 pm: Summit ends
Click below to download copies of key Summit documents.
- Full Summit Agenda
- Maps and instructions for getting around Tulsa and to the event locations
- Workshop details and locations
- Post-Summit Survey
Also, please note, attire for this event is casual. We want you to be comfortable!
Hyatt Regency Tulsa (100 East 2nd St)
We have a block of rooms reserved at the rate of $91/night. This hotel is within walking distance to most summit activities.
You can reserve your room here or by calling 402-592-6464 or 888-421-1442 and mentioning the Strong Towns Summit. A limited number of rooms are available at this block rate; please make your arrangements as soon as is feasible, or no later than March 7th.
From the airport: You can take an Uber, Lyft or cab from the airport to the hotel or event locations at anytime.
The #203 bus will also take you from the airport to downtown Tulsa, just a couple blocks away from the hotel and Williams Company Theater. The last bus leaves the airport at 7:19pm. For more information, visit TulsaTransit.org.
By car: There is an an attached parking garage on the south end of the hotel where you may park for free. If you're local, you may also park in that lot for the summit activities for $8/day, or at any other nearby downtown lots or on the street.
By bus: The Tulsa Greyhound Station is two blocks away from the hotel and Williams Company Theater.
Once you arrive in the downtown, all of our event locations are within walking distance of one another.
These small group workshops will take place on Friday, March 31 from 10:30am-12:30pm. Event participants will have the opportunity to choose two workshops to attend.
A. Taking it to the Streets: Using Temporary Traffic Calming for Permanent Change
Workshop leader: Marielle Brown
Slowing down cars saves lives and builds community. However, making changes to streets in order to slow traffic can be controversial, as people fear congestion and increased danger. Temporary traffic calming can demonstrate the benefits of slowing cars to skeptical residents and elected officials. In this workshop, Marielle Brown, a member of Strong Towns who has worked on transportation issues in a number of capacities, will share successful, low-cost traffic calming efforts and (if all goes well) offer a live demonstration. Please come prepared to walk about ¾ mile round trip; safety vests will be provided. Note: Due to the hands-on nature of this workshop, space will be limited to 19 people.
B. Highway Boondoggles: A Field Guide
Workshop leader: Tony Dutzik
Governments across the U.S. spend billions of dollars each year on highway projects that are wasteful and damaging to our communities, even as critical local needs go unmet. In this workshop, we will review recent “boondoggle” highway projects around the country, examine why they don’t make sense, investigate the public policies that lead to their creation, and share ideas and strategies for challenging wasteful highway spending and creating more sensible transportation policies.
C. Self, Us, Now - The First Step to Creating Change
Workshop leader: Michael McGinn
Michael McGinn, former mayor of Seattle and current member of Strong Towns, has a wealth of experience with community organizing. It is not just data, rational argument, or understanding processes that moves people to change. Stories move people. This workshop will teach you how to use the power of narrative to work with others in your community. In particular, how to share your own story.
D. Health, Safety, Welfare: Is the Transportation Profession Providing for the Public?
Workshop leader: Daniel Herrig
What are the compounding effects of the transportation decisions over the last seventy years? Taking a big-picture perspective, this presentation walks through the consequences of the automobile-oriented transportation system by tracking the engineer’s ethical code of protecting the health, safety, and welfare of the public. These key categories reveal the systemic failures of America’s transportation network to support prosperity and flourishing in our most valuable asset - people. Highlighting the high fatality rates inherent in auto-centric systems, adverse health effects from air pollution and sedentary lifestyles, and inequity in the system for those in poverty, this presentation leads to a call for the transportation profession to react to these trends and outcomes of our system and correct the path forward to make safer, healthier, and more equitable communities.
E. Transportation Demand Management vs. Build Build Build
Workshop leaders: Heyden Black Walker and Lauren Cresswell
In Texas, we like to build massive infrastructure, with massive price tags. We rarely consider the cost of long-term maintenance, or how to make the existing transportation systems more efficient. Our transportation system should be a balance of supply and demand, yet state agencies continually focus primarily on supply and use those supply projections to justify massive infrastructure spending. It’s time that we also focus on the demand side. In this workshop, we will use Texas as a case study to understand how over-inflated modeling is used to overstate demand and, thus, justify adding to the supply. We will also look at highways where added supply was rapidly counter-balanced by induced demand and we'll examine the cost of adding supply on big highways, and compare that to the cost of adding supply for other transportation options.
F. Scoring! How to Do the Math on Proposed Development in Your City
Workshop leaders: Michael Kovacs, Will Rugeley and Justin Weiss
The City of Fate will share our approach to doing Planning Commission and City Council briefings on new proposed developments that now include a basic, yet effective, fiscal sustainability analysis. We will share actual staff reports and advise with participants and help them with ways they can approach their local city councils, planning commissions, city managers, and Planning Directors, with solid numbers from their cities own financial statements and budgets to promote fiscally sustainable development and deter unsustainable development (and the formulas to know the difference).
G. The Pleasant St. Bypass: Sacrificing a neighborhood to speed up traffic
Workshop leader: Mike Corbett
Noblesville is a case study of the tensions between urban and suburban style growth. Its traditional courthouse square serves as reminder of the benefits of urban design, while virtually all of Noblesville’s community investment has been along the stroads of State Route 37 and Exit 210 on Interstate 69. Now, in an effort to relieve occasional traffic congestion on State Road 32, a major East-West arterial that runs through downtown, the city has decided to build a “reliever” through one of old town’s oldest and most settled neighborhoods. Mike has joined a neighborhood group in opposition to the proposal but there is almost no support within the city administration or on the city council for their suggested alternative. Mike’s presentation will highlight the issues and alternatives, appealing to Strong Towns nation for strategies and tactics on how to combat this really bad idea.
H. Let Urban be Urban and let Suburban be Suburban
Workshop leader: Kevin Klinkenberg
The idea of letting the urban areas of our cities be truly urban, and letting the suburban areas be truly suburban is not a new one. But how would this really work? What are the planning implications? What are the municipal revenue/expenditure ramifications? Let's have a conversation to discuss some options, and if time allows, get into some number-crunching.
I. Building Citizens Organizations to Reintegrate Commuter Rail into Communities
Workshop leaders: Mitch Connor, Paul Fritz and Dave Alden
In the spring of 2017, after a absence of a half-century, commuter rail service will return to Marin and Sonoma Counties in the north San Francisco Bay Area. Urban Community Partnership and Petaluma Urban Chat are citizens groups founded to promote financially-sustainable land-use patterns, with particular attention to the land near the new rail stations. Representatives of the two organizations will talk about the actions they've been taking to help the rail system integrate into its communities. They've encouraged and helped plan mixed-use, pedestrian-oriented development of vacant and underutilized parcels near the stations, adjusted bus routes to better serve the stations, and advocated for stronger bicycle and pedestrian routes to the stations. Mitch Conner, Paul Fritz, and Dave Alden will talk about the long-term commitment to making the neighborhoods vibrant places with homes and destinations to support the ridership of the rail line.
Ashwat Narayanan is director of transportation policy at 1000 Friends of Wisconsin. He works on research, policy and community advocacy to increase transportation options in Wisconsin, and building a transportation system that works for everyone. His work recently has focused on highlighting wasteful spending on highway capacity expansion projects in the state. Ashwat has a master’s degree in transportation engineering from the University of Wisconsin—Madison.
Joey Durel took office in January 2004 and concluded his third and final term as Lafayette’s Mayor-President on January 4, 2016. Early in his administration, Durel spearheaded the LUS Fiber to the Premise initiative. Today, Lafayette is one of only a few American cities with a community-owned, 100% fiber optic telecommunications network. Durel has been recognized several times for his technology policy leadership. Durel has a background as a small businessman. Before holding political office, he served as the Chairman of the Board of The Greater Lafayette Chamber of Commerce. In 2010, he was named CEO of the Year by a local weekly newspaper for his leadership. Durel is a graduate of Leadership Lafayette and Leadership Louisiana and in 2015 was named the Distinguished Graduate of the Leadership Institute of Acadiana. Now, back in the private sector as Business Development Officer for Iberia Bank, Durel has also formed The Durel Group, focusing on helping elected officials achieve the kinds of successes that will move their cities into the 21st century.
As a neighborhood leader, environmental activist, and a big city Mayor, Mike McGinn has worked to build communities that are safe, thriving and environmentally sustainable. Elected Mayor of Seattle in the midst of the Great Recession (2010-2013), Mike worked to reinvigorate the city by relying on low-cost high-impact interventions that increased quality of life and economic activity. Before becoming Mayor, Mike founded and ran a non-profit, Great City, which brought together neighborhood leaders, environmentalists and business leaders to find common ground on building a thriving and sustainable city. Great City built on Mike’s work as a Sierra Club volunteer and neighborhood leaders. In the Sierra Club Mike worked to help elect environmental leaders at the federal, state and local levels and build the Club’s influence on policy. Mike’s neighborhood work began in 1996, in trying to get sidewalks built in his new neighborhood of Greenwood. He then served for years as president of the local community council, working on rezoning and redevelopment of the auto-oriented portion of business district to support mixed uses. Mike’s podcast, You, Me, Us, Now, focuses on people who try to change things, and can serve as a resource for those entering civic and community life.
Jason is the founder of the Oak Cliff Transit Authority, founder of the original Better Block Project, co-founder of Art Conspiracy and Bike Friendly Oak Cliff, and candidate for US Congress. In 2006, Jason formed the non-profit organization Oak Cliff Transit Authority to revive the Dallas streetcar system, and later spearheaded the city’s effort in garnering a $23 Million dollar TIGER stimulus grant from the FTA to help reintroduce a modern streetcar system to Dallas. In 2010, Jason organized a series of “Better Block” projects, taking blighted blocks with vacant properties in Southern Dallas and converting them into temporary walkable districts with pop-up businesses, bike lanes, cafe seating, and landscaping. The project has now become an international movement and has been featured in the New York Times, Dwell magazine, TED Talks and on NPR. Team Better Block was showcased in the US Pavillion at the 2012 Venice Biennale.
Marielle Brown, AICP, is passionate about helping communities create lovable places that work for people of all ages and abilities. She worked at Trailnet, a non-profit in St. Louis, on bicycle and pedestrian planning, transportation policy, and tactical urbanism for five years. She recently moved to Seattle, where she continues to advocate for better streets and fiscally responsible transportation. In addition to her planning work, she has first-hand experience with multi-modal transportation planning around the world through her experiences living in Beijing, Hiroshima, Paris, and Seoul. Marielle received her Master's in Urban and Regional Planning from Portland State University.
Tony Dutzik is senior policy analyst at Frontier Group, a public policy think tank, focusing on transportation, energy and climate issues. He is the lead or contributing author of numerous reports on transportation finance, shifting trends in transportation demand, and infrastructure policy – including several reports calling attention to wasteful and unnecessary “highway boondoggles” nationwide. His work has received national and international media attention, including coverage in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Financial Times, and the Economist. A former newspaper reporter and Pittsburgh native, he currently lives and works in Boston.
Daniel Herrig is a transportation engineer and planner at Freese and Nichols, Inc. in Dallas, Texas. His work focuses on long-range transportation planning and financial tool development for municipalities and other public sector clients. His background includes roadway and signal design, traffic assessment and modeling, and corridor management plans. Daniel’s work recently has focused on creating a framework for furthering a holistic, multidiscipline approach to urban design within Freese and Nichols. Daniel received his bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from Texas A&M University. He lives in the urban core of Dallas where he advocates for human flourishing through the design of lovable neighborhoods and resilient transportation networks. He is a member of the local chapter of the Congress for New Urbanism and Institute of Transportation Engineers.
Heyden Black Walker
Heyden Black Walker is an urban planner, former teacher, and mother of two young adults in Austin, Texas. She co-founded Reconnect Austin, a community-based call to lower the main lanes of I-35 through downtown Austin, creating a vision of the highway rebuild that reconnects neighborhoods, while providing multi-modal access to jobs, medical facilities, transit, and civic resources. With the goal of equity in transportation, walkability, and increased access for all, Heyden also donates her time and advocacy efforts to the City of Austin Pedestrian Advisory Council, the Multimodal Citizen’s Advisory Commission, Congress for the New Urbanism – Central Texas Chapter, VisionZeroATX, and Walk Austin. Heyden is a 2016 Fellow of the Walk College.
Lauren Cresswell has been a member of the Reconnect Austin team since 2014. With a Masters in Public Affairs from the University of Texas, Lauren blends her background in policy with her interests in urban design and planning through numerous transportation-related advocacy efforts in the urban community. In addition to Reconnect Austin, she serves on the board of Vision Zero ATX, a local nonprofit dedicating to eliminating deaths and serious injuries on Austin roadways. She resides, walks, bikes, and runs after the bus in Austin.
Michael has served as Fate’s City Manager for nearly 3 years, and has over 19 years of experience in city management. He has directly supervised departments responsible for public works, police, fire, EMS, parks and recreation, finance, building, planning, engineering, and public information. Kovacs describes his management style as being a servant leader who is personally invested in the mission of the City, knowing and helping the staff, and focusing on the needs of the community and its elected officials. Michael was last City Manager in Galveston, Texas, where he worked to further the city’s recovery from Hurricane Ike. Prior to Galveston, Michael was Asst. City Manager in Park City, Utah, the City Manager for Port Aransas, Texas, the Town Administrator in Surfside Beach, South Carolina, and the City Administrator for Presidio, Texas. Michael has a MPA and BA from Texas A&M University – Corpus Christi. Michael and his wife, Fonya, have been married for 20 years. They have one son attending the University of Texas at Dallas and 2 sons in public school.
Justin first joined the City of Fate team in January, 2013 as the Assistant to the City Manager, Economic and Community Development. As of June, 2015, he now serves as the Assistant City Manager and oversees Economic and Community Development, Public Works, Planning & Development, Building Safety, and Information Technology. Prior to his career in local government, Justin worked in the private sector as a department head for a fast-growing telecommunications company for 4 years where he led a newly created department and was later promoted to manage the residential and small business sales teams. Justin also has experience in Healthcare Administration. Justin has a MPA and BA from Brigham Young University. Justin and his wife, Shannon, have been married for 7 years and have one daughter.
Will M. Rugeley, II, BS, MAG, is the Director of Planning & Development Services for the City of Fate, Texas. Mr. Rugeley’s focus is on implementing sustainable and fiscally productive developments through sound land use policies and informed decisions that encourage high density and interconnected open spaces and trails systems. He is currently serving as the team lead working on an update to the Fate zoning and subdivision ordinance while also managing all planning and zoning and code compliance activities. Mr. Rugeley has a Masters of Applied Geography from Texas State University – San Marcos with a concentration in Land Management and Development.
Mike Corbett is a magazine publisher in Hamilton County, Indiana, a suburb of Indianapolis. He owns, publishes and edits the Hamilton County Business Magazine and the Welcome to Hamilton County Community Guide. He and his wife Joni are restoring a 150 year old Italianate in “old town” Noblesville and are committed to the city’s traditional neighborhoods. He ran for mayor twice on a platform of reinvesting in the city’s downtown and neighborhoods, and though he carried the downtown precincts, he was not able to unseat an entrenched and well-funded incumbent. He serves on the boards of the local Preservation Alliance, Main Street organization, Cultural Arts Commission, and HAND (Hamilton County Area Neighborhood Development, an affordable housing non-profit). He serves on committees of other groups seeking to preserve the unique characteristics of old town Noblesville. He and Joni have five grown children.
For over twenty years Kevin has worked as an urban designer, using the various skills of design, planning and form-based coding to create walkable communities. He’s worked for developers, cities, not-for-profits and public agencies to create environments that are sustainable and sociable. Kevin’s been blogging about these issues for years, and wrote a book called “Why I Walk” published in 2014. Today, Kevin lives in Savannah, GA, and is the Executive Director of the Savannah Development and Renewal Authority. Our mission is to renew, revitalize and develop greater downtown Savannah by making the ground fertile for others and undertaking catalyst projects ourselves. We work with the support of the City of Savannah and a board of committed community-minded leaders.
Paul Fritz is an architect, urbanist and author of the blog smalltownurbanism.com. Paul has worked on affordable and market rate housing projects, single-family homes, mixed-use urban infill and commercial projects. Paul is a founding member of The Core Project, a grassroots group of Sebastopol business owners who advocate for a revitalized downtown Sebastopol through better design solutions. Paul is also a co-founder of Urban Community Partnership, a non-profit dedicated to transforming our approach to development to create financially resilient communities that provide a better quality of life for their residents. Paul is passionate about creating vibrant human-scaled places that allow us to reduce our dependency on the automobile and live, play and work in environmentally, fiscally and socially sustainable places. Paul is Vice-Chair of the Planning Commission in Sebastopol, California.
Dave Alden is Registered Civil Engineer who is using semi-retirement to become involved in his town of Petaluma, California, serving on multiple City committees including Ped/Bike and Transit, coordinating citizen discussion groups such as Petaluma Urban Chat, and supporting like-minded candidates on City Council campaigns.
Mitch Conner, Principal Architect at ArchiLOGIX in Santa Rosa, is a founding member of Urban Community Partnership, a grassroots multi-disciplinary non-profit, Mitch believes that transforming our approach to development is key to assuring financially resilient municipalities while promoting a healthier quality of life and reduced environmental impacts. The overarching UCP objective is to help decision makers and community members understand how to connect the dots and see how re-aligning the way we think about our built environment is a critical component of meeting community goals for sustainability, social equity, health, transportation, climate change, environmental preservation and fiscal responsibility. UCP supports development that will create financially strong communities that are uniquely livable places to live, play and work in.
THANK YOU TO OUR EVENT SPONSORS:
The P. Vincent LoVoi Family Foundation
Please contact Kea Wilson at firstname.lastname@example.org.