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The Rocky Mountain Land Use Institute was established to conduct education and research programs on legal and public policy issues related to land use and development. For 25 years, RMLUI has been leading a discussion in the West about the challenges presented by growth and innovative ideas for addressing them.

In celebration of its 25th year, RMLUI is pausing to look back and examine lessons learned that can guide our actions and policies as we move forward into the next 25 years.

This year’s Western Places/Western Spaces conference will address the transformative land use legal and policy developments in the Rocky Mountain West that have influenced the shape of our communities today. We will also explore the trends and innovations—like demographic shifts, climate change, and economic forces—that are likely to affect the future of the West.

In addition, RMLUI will advance the dialogue on some recurring themes from past conferences—urban growth and density, regional planning and conservation, water, and housing—and consider emerging challenges facing the region.

Keynote Presentation

Peter Calthorpe We are very excited to announce that our keynote speaker for 2016 is Peter Calthorpe. Metropolis Magazine claims: “The titles of Peter Calthorpe’s books trace the recent history of urban design in its most vital and prescient manifestations, starting in 1986 with Sustainable Communities followed by The Regional City: Planning for the End of Sprawl, and most recently Urbanism in the Age of Climate Change.” In the early 90’s he developed the concept of Transit Oriented Development—an idea that is now the foundation of many regional policies and city plans around the world. Peter Calthorpe is one of the founders and the first board president of Congress of New Urbanism.

Linking Land Use & Water: Tools to Grow Water-Smart

A highlight of this year’s event is an all-day workshop on Wednesday, March 9—Linking Land Use and Water: Tools to Grow Water-Smart. It is being made available free of charge thanks to generous support from Denver Water and the Colorado Water Conservation Board.

This event seeks to explore the legal framework that underlies Colorado’s efforts to regulate water use and to provide best practices for local communities. In bringing together land use planners, water providers, policy makers, lawyers, and other stakeholders, the workshop will provide the foundation for strong, interdisciplinary planning efforts that integrate water and land use planning to maximize water efficiency and conservation. We strongly encourage planners and water providers from the same jurisdiction to participate in the workshop together to explore these issues and bring back new ideas and solutions.

Space is limited and registration is required. To register for just the workshop, select “One Day Registration” and opt-in for Wednesday. You will also have the option of adding to a regular conference registration.

Plenary Lunches

On Thursday, Water in the West will feature Justice Gregory Hobbs who will discuss the issues facing water use and conservation in the West.

Friday’s plenary lunch, #whatdowewant? #warmcookies: Civic Engagement Can Be Fun!, will feature Warm Cookies of the Revolution, leading an interactive discussion about civic health.

Walking Tours

Five Points Renaissance
This walking tour will highlight both the historic buildings and new development of Denver’s Five Points Neighborhood. Relevant discussion with area leaders will consider ways that the history and cultural diversity of Five Points can remain intact while balancing rapid growth and increased density.

Highlands & the Riverfront Neighborhood with Walk Denver
This 3-hour walking tour will explore what makes a walkable neighborhood and how walkability impacts the economic and social vitality of a community. During the tour, guides will the discuss the role of walkable infrastructure, diverse uses, density and connectivity in fostering what has become one of the most vibrant urban settings in the Western United States.

Featured Track: Examing the Past, Exploring the Future

The sessions in this year’s featured track consider the lessons we have learned over the past 25 years that should guide our land use decisions in the future.

Continuing Education

RMLUI will apply for AICP (planning), ASFPM (floodplain management), CLE (legal), and CRE (real estate). If you need additional accreditation, or CLE credits for a state other than Colorado, please contact Lisa Bingham.