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Calendar of Events

September – October 2014

Future of Energy viewing @ Drake Sussman Theater
Sep 14 @ 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm

Come watch the Future of Energy at Drake University

Growing sustainable Communities @ Grand River Center at Port of Dubuque
Oct 7 – Oct 8 all-day

Making Sustainability a Community-Wide Priority

DUBUQUE, Iowa – Whether you’re a public official trying to develop a green local economy, a college or hospital administrator working to reduce your institution’s carbon footprint, or a business owner just hoping to lower your monthly utility bill, it’s almost certain you’ll be more successful by joining with like-minded people to brainstorm ideas and develop solutions that benefit everyone.

Sustainability is a community affair.

Collaboration will be a common thread in the keynote addresses, workshops, tours and exhibits at the 7th annual Growing Sustainable Communities Conference, to be held at the Grand River Center in Dubuque on Oct. 7 and 8.

Registration for the conference is now open at Presented by the City of Dubuque and Sustainable City Network, the conference is supported by Crescent Electric Supply Company and other corporate sponsors. Programming will include keynote addresses by two internationally-known thought leaders in sustainability and urban development, as well as 25 workshops, two mobile tours and dozens of vendor exhibits.

Storm Cunningham, CEO of ReCitizen, L3C, will present the luncheon keynote address on Tuesday, Oct. 7. Cunningham’s organization is a Washington, DC-based international network for citizen-led regeneration of communities and natural resources, providing tools for crowdsourcing, crowdmapping and crowdfunding. He also has written several books, with his third, “FIXERS: New Leaders for Broken Times,” due for publication in 2015. It documents the global rise of adaptive renewal in today’s climate of uncertainty.

On Wednesday, Oct. 8, Gil Penalosa, executive director of the Canadian nonprofit 8-80 Cities, will deliver the keynote luncheon address. A former commissioner of Parks, Sport and Recreation for the City of Bogota, Colombia, Penalosa is passionate about building cities for everyone and using parks and streets as both public places and avenues of sustainable mobility for walking, cycling and public transit. He has worked on projects with more than 150 cities worldwide, and also is an urban expert on mobility and citizen engagement for the Danish firm, Gehl Architects.

The Growing Sustainable Communities Conference is an opportunity for leaders from local government, businesses, schools and non-profits to learn from experts and colleagues who will share the latest research and best practices for successfully implementing  sustainability projects across a broad spectrum of community disciplines, including healthcare, energy, resource management, environmental services, and urban planning and design.

Workshop topics will include:

  • Fostering social equity
  • Clean energy potential
  • Sustainability technology
  • Urban forestry
  • Fleet management
  • Partnerships with colleges and universities
  • Walkable communities
  • Cultural vibrancy and placemaking
  • Revitalizing brownfields
  • Outdoor LED lighting
  • Energy retrofits
  • Sustainability planning
  • Green building
  • Complete streets
  • Floodplain management
  • Nurturing a sustainable workforce
  • Pavement maintenance planning
  • Effective stakeholder engagement


Two optional mobile tours will take a limited number of participants through Dubuque’s historic Washington Neighborhood, which has been a major focus for reinvestment efforts by the City of Dubuque since 2005; and the city’s new Water & Resource Recovery Center, a secondary wastewater treatment facility that uses anaerobic digestion to treat wastewater, generate energy and create a valuable soil amendment.

The conference is also an opportunity for colleagues to network and share ideas during a reception and two luncheons.

Connect with the conference on Twitter at #gscDubuque.

Meeting the Renewable Energy Challenge @ Main Lounge, Iowa Memorial Union
Oct 15 @ 12:00 pm – Oct 16 @ 9:00 pm

This symposium takes a broad look at the scientific challenges and policy issues surrounding renewable energy, with special reference to Iowa and the Midwest.  Should the government support a shift from nonrenewable to renewable sources of energy?  Will shifting toward renewables decrease the pace of climate change or make us more energy secure? What are the technical barriers to rapidly increasing our reliance on renewable energy?  What policy changes are necessary or desirable in order to promote renewable energy growth?  Topics covered will include infrastructure development (e.g. wind farms; transmission lines), biofuels, emerging environmental problems, and distributed energy policy.

The event will include a student-focused day (October 15), with opportunities for students to learn and share information about their own research related to renewable energy and related topics.

Please check back for more information as plans develop.

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