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Upcoming Events

Nobel Prize Summit 2020: Our Planet, Our Future
April 29-May 1, 2020. Washington, DC
Click here to learn more about this event. 

View a list of Sustainability-related meetings at the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.

Recent Events

Strengthening Sustainability Programs and Curricula at the Undergraduate and Graduate Levels: A Third Workshop
January 24, 2020. Santa Cruz, CA
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to learn more about this project.

Urban Sustainability in China and the US

December 16, 2019, Washington, DC

Roundtable on Science and Technology for Sustainability

July 30-31, 2019, Washington, DC

Strengthening Sustainability Program at the Undergraduate and Graduate Levels
February 13, 2019, Washington, DC

Reducing Food Loss and Waste Workshop

October 17, 2018, Washington, DC

Regional Approaches to Urban Sustainability: A Focus on Portland
A National Academies Workshop

 May 28-29, 2013
Ecotrust Natural Capital Center
The Billy Frank Jr. Conference Center
721 NW 9th Avenue
Portland, OR

 Tuesday, May 28, 2013 

10:00 AM               Welcome and Introduction
Rob Bennett, Executive Director, EcoDistricts 

Morning Keynotes:  Urban Sustainability - A National Imperative 

10:10 AM               Representative Earl Blumenauer, 3rd Congressional District of Oregon   

10:40 AM               Jared Blumenfeld, EPA Regional Administrator, Region 9   

Session I:  Update and Lessons from Portland Region’s Sustainability Activities 

Objectives:  (1) to provide a common understanding for all workshop participants of the substance and current status of Portland and Cascadia sustainability activities, and (2) to develop a summary of “lessons learned” that could be productively transferred to other communities.  

11:10 AM               The History and Lessons of Portland—What Has Worked and What Has Not
Michael Armstrong, Policy, Research and Innovation Manager, Bureau of Planning and Sustainability, City of Portland   

11:40 AM               Balancing Development and Urban Sustainability in Vancouver, Cascadia, and Beyond
Amanda Pitre-Hayes, Director of Sustainability, City of Vancouver                                  

12:10 PM               LUNCH BREAK 

1:00 PM                 Sustainable Development in the Region

Moderator: Gil Kelley, Practitioner-in-Residence, Urban Studies & Planning - Urban & Public Affairs, Portland State University
Renee Loveland, Sustainability Manager, Gerding Edlen Development
Lew Bowers, Central City Division Manager, Portland Development Commission   
Alisa Kane, Green Building Program Manager, Bureau of Planning and Sustainability, City of Portland     

Session II: Leveraging the Effectiveness of Portland Area Sustainability Activities 

Objectives:  (1) Building upon the morning session, with input from both local and national participants, explore ways, both organizational and financial, to make ongoing efforts in Portland and the rest of Cascadia more effective and relevant through partnerships with state and federal agencies, companies, and associations of cities; (2) Envision how regionally-based urban sustainability initiatives could be leveraged through creation of a multi-agency, multi-sector, National Urban Sustainability Laboratory. 

2:15 PM                 Leveraging the Effectiveness of Portland Area Sustainability Activities:Perspectives from the Public Sector

Moderator: Loren Lutzenhiser, Professor, Urban Studies and Planning, Portland State University  
Robert Liberty, Director, Urban Sustainability Accelerator, Portland State University  
Dave Porter, Economic Development Agency, U.S. Department of Commerce  
Jonathan Belmont, Oregon Department of Energy  

3:30 PM                 BREAK 

3:45 PM                 Leveraging the Effectiveness of Portland Area Sustainability Activities:Perspectives from the Private Sector

                               Moderator: Tim Smith, Principal, SERA
                               Lorie Wigle, General Manager, Eco-Technology Office, Intel
                               Charles Kelley, Associate Partner, ZGF Architects  

5:30 PM                 ADJOURN 

Wednesday, May 29th, 2013 

8:20 AM                 Wim Wiewel, President of Portland State University  

8:30 AM                 Charlie Hales, Mayor, City of Portland  

Session III:  Can Scientific and Engineering Research Usefully Inform Sustainable Urban Policy? 

Objectives: To assess ways that scientific research on cities carried out by universities, federal agencies, and the private sector can be translated into forms that are useful and relevant to urban practitioners while still being close enough to the cutting edge of science to interest the most creative thinkers and obtain competitive peer-review funding. 

9:00 AM                  Multi-Sector Urban System Initiatives
Colin Harrison, Distinguished Engineer Emeritus, IBM Corporate Strategy   

9:15 AM                  Integrating Research into Urban Sustainability Strategies

Moderator: Lawrence Baker, Research Professor, Ecological Engineering Group, Department of Bioproducts and Biosystems Engineering, University of Minnesota
Jonathan Fink, Vice President for Research and Strategic Partnerships, Portland State University
Colin Harrison, Distinguished Engineer Emeritus, IBM Corporate Strategy  
Joseph Danko, Managing Director, Urban Programs, CH2M  HILL   

10:30 AM               BREAK 

10:45 AM               The Role of Federal Agencies in Promoting Urban Policy and Research Innovations

                                Moderator: Jim Lester, President, Houston Advanced Research Center  
                                Ann Bartuska, Deputy Under Secretary, Research, Education, and Economics (REE), U.S. Department of Agriculture  
                                Danielle Arigoni, Deputy Director, Sustainable Communities, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency  
                                Jay Williams, Director, Office of Recovery for Auto Communities and Workers, Department of Labor 
                                André N. Pettigrew, Executive Director, Climate Prosperity Project, Inc., Clean Economy Solutions                                     

12:00 PM               LUNCH BREAK

Session IV:  How Can Cities Advance Society’s Larger Goals? 

Commentators, political scientists, and academics have recently begun making the case that sustainable cities offer the solution to many of society’s most vexing problems, from climate change to energy shortages to poverty alleviation to natural disaster resilience to aging with dignity. But in most cases, the officials who run the cities have more immediate budgetary and political issues that consume their time and energy.  Can private foundations and other funding institutions help fill gaps by supporting initiatives that simultaneously advance a city’s local agenda while also contributing to the larger societal goals?  

1:00 PM                 The Role of Cities in Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation    

Moderator: Jennifer Allen, Associate Professor of Public Administration and Director of the Institute for Sustainable Solutions, Portland State University  
Elizabeth Willmott, Project Manager, New Energy Citites, Climate Solutions
John Robinson, Associate Provost, Sustainability, University of British Columbia
Mike Hoglund, Director, Metro Research Council
Lillian Shirley, Director, Multnomah County Health Department, Oregon

2:30 PM                 BREAK 

2:45 PM                 Moving Best Practices Forward for Sustainable Communities
                                Moderator: John Cleveland, President, Innovation Network for Communities
                                Melanie Nutter, Director, San Francisco Department of the Environment
                                Jill Fuglister, Program Officer, Meyer Memorial Trust

                                Susan Anderson, Director, Bureau of Planning and Sustainability, City of Portland 
                                Julia Parzen, Coordinator, Urban Sustainability Directors Network

4:15 PM                 Workshop Conclusion
                                Rob Bennett, Executive Director, EcoDistricts  

4:30 PM                 ADJOURN