I think what makes the Lab unique is that you not only have an amazing lineup of speakers from all over the USA, but we will be taking all conference attendees out into the neighborhoods of Columbus to do hands on learning. - Eric Fredericks
Columbus, Ohio (PRWEB) August 19, 2014
Walkable Neighborhoods and German Village Society have partnered together to host the 2014 Great Placemakers Lab in Columbus, OH. The Lab will bring together community builders, urban planners, architects, realtors, business leaders, and people from all backgrounds focused on creating places with distinctive character. The Lab will take place in downtown Columbus at the Westin Columbus Hotel.
Walkable Neighborhoods is a Rancho Cordova, CA-based consulting firm that helps people create walkable places. The German Village Society is a non-profit association that works to preserve the historic German Village neighborhood of Columbus, Ohio. The two organizations were exploring hosting separate but similarly related conferences and decided to partner up to make one cohesive and powerful event.
“I think what makes the Lab unique is that you not only have an amazing lineup of speakers from all over the USA, but we will be taking all conference attendees out into the neighborhoods of Columbus to do hands on learning,” said Eric Fredericks, founder of Walkable Neighborhoods. “We even have an event where participants can (safely) walk blindfolded, to experience what a neighborhood is like for individuals that are visually impaired. And these tours are included with the registration fees, which is not common.”
In short, placemaking is a community’s authentic and unique recipe of dedicated people that devise grassroots projects, improve the environment, and yield successes through collaborative partnerships.
The lineup of speakers includes Jeff Speck, the author of several popular books including “Suburban Nation” and “Walkable City,” Jim Diers, a nationally recognized expert community organizer and developer, and Joe Minicozzi, an expert in land value economics and community design. Other speakers hail from all parts of the United States and Ohio. For more information about the Lab speakers, go to http://www.greatplacemakers.org.
Columbus is an ideal laboratory for learning about the art of great placemaking. On Thursday, Lab participants will spend the entire day in the field learning from community builders through stories of their successes and failures. Participants will travel to four different neighborhoods to learn about each neighborhood’s unique “path to transformation: the German Village’s 50+ years of historic preservation; the Short North’s exciting infill development; the innovative partnerships in Weinland Park; and the reimaging of the Franklinton.
“Placemaking is best accomplished when taken in a multi-faceted approach. Believing this, we have assembled a rich variety of regional and national speakers and participants so we can share and build upon our collective knowledge,” said Matt Shad, Lab Director. "This should make for a compelling program unlike others currently being offered. And showcasing Columbus’ neighborhoods provides living laboratories, to identify how differing communities, with common beliefs, are accomplishing their goals in unique ways."
The Lab is approved for continuing education credit for planners, architects, designers, and realtors. The event will also be aimed at a broader “arm-chair planner” audience for those people whose passion and perseverance are the strength of all great communities.
The Lab kicks off on Tuesday, September 16th, with an interactive design workshop led by Ohio State University professor Kyle Ezell. Track-based sessions and workshops will take place on Wednesday. Friday is a Walkability Summit focused on the “how-to” of making communities walking, biking, and transit friendly. The blindfolded walking audit tours will be led by the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission on Friday afternoon.
About Walkable Neighborhoods and the German Village Society
Walkable Neighborhoods is a consulting firm that helps people create more walkable places. Since its creation in 2005, Walkable Neighborhoods has been featured in over 150 major news outlets, publications, and blogs. For more information, visit http://www.neighborhoods.org.
The German Village Society is a non-profit charitable association that works on the behalf of the community and city to preserve the historic German Village neighborhood of Columbus, Ohio. German Village Society has been in the forefront of community building and historic preservation movements and most recently won in 2011 a Top 10 Great Neighborhood Award from the American Planning Association. For more information, visit http://www.germanvillage.com.