How will the Lehigh Valley accommodate 146,000 more people in the next 20 years without losing the outstanding quality of living that has attracted so many here? Local and national experts will discuss solutions involving farmland preservation, urban revitalization, land use planning, transportation and more as RenewLV (renewlv.org) hosts its third annual Summit for Smart Growth and Sustainable Communities on Fri., Dec., 4 from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Renaissance Hotel, Allentown. More than 200 regional leaders are expected to attend.
The morning keynote presentation will feature Judy Wicks, a Philadelphia-based entrepreneur, author, speaker and mentor who works to build a more compassionate, environmentally sustainable and locally based economy. Her award winning book, Good Morning Beautiful Business: the Unexpected Journey of an Activist Entrepreneur and Local Economy Pioneer won the 2014 Gold Medal in the category of “Business Leadership” from Nautilus Book Awards. As an entrepreneur, Judy is best known for Philadelphia’s landmark White Dog Cafe, which she founded in 1983 on the first floor of her house and managed for 26 years.
Afternoon keynote speaker, Chuck Marohn, is the founder and president of Strong Towns , a national organization advancing a model of development that allows America’s cities, towns and neighborhoods to become financially strong and resilient. He is the author of Thoughts on Building Strong Towns (Volume 1) and A World Class Transportation System as well as the primary author of the Strong Towns Blog and host of the Strong Towns Podcast. A Professional Engineer (PE) and a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP), he has a Bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Minnesota’s Institute of Technology and a Masters in Urban and Regional Planning from the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey Institute.
Two morning panel discussions will address issues and solutions related to the Lehigh Valley’s continued growth. The first will feature experts on regional challenges of land use and urban revitalization. The panelists include:
The second panel will highlight “real stories from the farm, suburbs and neighborhoods,” and feature successful programs and initiatives. The panelists include:
Renew Lehigh Valley is committed to promoting smart growth and smart governance in order to revitalize our core communities, preserve open space, and establish an economically and environmentally sustainable foundation for our region’s future growth.
The Lehigh Valley is rich in a variety of assets that foster a high quality of life in the region. These include unique cultural, historic, and natural resources.
Significant population growth is projected for the Lehigh Valley over the next 10 to 20 years, and it is crucial that the region grows in a way that not only draws on and preserves these assets, but also ensures that the Lehigh Valley’s older core communities–our cities and boroughs–can thrive.
Making “smart growth” a reality in the Lehigh Valley must involve broad-based regional collaboration and the participation of individuals and organizations across the region’s various communities. Renew Lehigh Valley (RenewLV) seeks to catalyze action focused on creating a vibrant region characterized by strong core communities, abundant open space, and regional thinking.
What do you want the Lehigh Valley to look like in the next 5, 10, or 20 years?
With another 145,000 people projected to move to the Lehigh Valley by 2030, RenewLV believes that now is the time to plan to accommodate for this influx in a sustainable way.
Whether your live or work in the Lehigh Valley, the answer will directly affect you.
Beginning in 2012, Envision Lehigh Valley asked this question. This three-year project, funded by a $3.4 million HUD Sustainability Planning Grant, generated numerous studies on topics from food to transportation.
The EnvisionLV process engaged over 12,000 citizens.
Thank you to the fourteen other consortium partners: The Lehigh Valley Planning Commission, the Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corporation, the Lehigh and Northampton Transportation Authority, the Lehigh Valley Association of Independent Colleges, the Counties of Lehigh and Northampton, the Cities of Allentown, Bethlehem and Easton, Buy Fresh Buy Local of the Greater Lehigh Valley, The Nurture Nature Center, the Wildlands Conservancy, and the Lehigh Valley Research Consortium!
The project ended formally on 12.31.14 with the end of the grant.
However, the reports are still available for you to view.
Check out the website to read the reports.
The EnvisionLV process still informs the work of RenewLV, especially our work to support food sustainability and the Lehigh Valley Food Policy Council, farmland preservation, multi-modal transportation planning and smart growth education and outreach.
Many people are still interested in seeing the ideas in the reports accomplished as the region “moves from ideas to actions” in a sustainable way.
In early 2015 RenewLV’s board identified four strategic initiatives, informed and inspired from the EnvisionLV reports.
1. Farmland Preservation
3. Smart Transportation
4. Smart Growth Education and Outreach
If you are interested in joining with others to forward this work,
call the RenewLV offices at 484-893-1060 or send an email to email@example.com
We will connect you to one of the EnvisionLV consortium partners implementing their plans or a committee of RenewLV.
Smart Growth Principles
Renew Lehigh Valley upholds and advocates for the application of Smart Growth Principles in all planning and development, especially for the future growth of the Lehigh Valley.
We would like to express our sincere gratitude to sponsors of the 2015 Summit for Smart Growth and Sustainable Communities: