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Sustainable Urban Rivers Require Sustainable Urban Places

October 28, 2011Patrick NunnallyUncategorizedComments Off on Sustainable Urban Rivers Require Sustainable Urban Places

Too often, we don’t see clearly the connections between sustainable rivers and sustainable cities.  We think of sustainable rivers as only possible in rural/natural areas, where the human impacts can be minimized, measured, and monitored.  Urban stretches of river, by this logic, are to be written off, incurably corrupted with humanity.

I exaggerate, but maybe not by much.

Fortunately, the growth of research and management planning around sustainable cities bodes well for the future of sustainable urban rivers.  For some of the best and newest thinking on sustainable cities, I recommend attendance at a two day symposium next week (sorry for the short notice!) on the St. Paul campus of the University of Minnesota.

Here are the details:

The Twin Cities Urban Sustainability Forum is next week – Nov. 2-3.  The registration site is open at  The current agenda is also attached.

The registration fee is $25 (student rate $10).  AICP and PDH continuing education credits available.

About the Forum
The Forum will highlight emerging outcomes of sustainability research and cutting edge trends in sustainability practice and policy. Presentations by leading national and international speakers will ad-dress:
– Connecting urban ecosystem science with social and economic sustainability
– Federal and state-level sustainability policy
–  Overcoming disconnects between sustainability research and practice


  • Keynotes by Carol Howe, former manager of UNESCO’s SWITCH (Sustainable Water Management Improves Tomorrow’s Cities’ Health) program; and Cam Gorden (Minneapolis City Council)
  • Research presentations by  leading national academic sustainability experts – Anu Ramaswami (University of Colorado), John Randolph (Virginia Tech), and Michael Boswell (California Polytechnic State University) with a follow-on response panel including Gayle Prest (City of Minneapolis Sustainability Director) and Jim Erkel (Director of  MCEA’s Land Use and Transportation Program)
  • Panel discussion on the Federal Sustainability Partnership, with representatives from HUD (Mariia Zimmerman),  EPA (John Frece), and FHWA ( Derrell Turner); followed by panel perspectives from Minnesota state agencies  – MDH  (Linda Bruemmer),  Met Council (Guy Peterson) and MNDOT (Nick Thompson).
  • Panel discussion on U of M centers on translational research  – Laurie McGinnis (CTS),  Ed Goetz (CURA), John Carmody (Center for Sustainable Building Research), and Tim Smith (IonE’s Northstar Initiative)
  • Presentations on sustainability research by U of M researchers (Yingling Fan, Larry Baker, and Julian Marshall).

The event is funded by the McKnight Foundation, National Science Foundation, U of M Center for Transportation Studies, and U of M Center for Urban and Regional Affairs.

Who should attend?
Planners, water and natural resource managers, engineers, urban ecologists, and others interested in urban sustainability practice or research.

When: November 2 (8:30 am – 4:30 pm) and November 3 (9:00 am – 1:30 pm)
Where: University of MN Continuing Education Center St. Paul Campus
More details at the TCUS forum website –

For more information:
Contact co-organizers Lawrence A. Baker ( and Carissa Schively Slotterback (



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