Across the West, communities large and small are grappling with change. Our largest cities are thriving, but gentrification is making urban living unaffordable for many. As suburban communities transition towards more compact development and public transit, they are starting to lose the small town appeal that attracted so many. Rural communities struggle to balance their wild and rustic roots in the face of a changing economy. Set against a backdrop of increased risks associated with long-term drought, violent storms, flooding, and wildfire, the West is embracing its latest challenges.

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Keynote Speaker

Timothy Beatley RMLUI is very pleased to have author and professor Timothy Beatley as our keynote speaker. The author of several books, including Biophilic Cities and Resilient Cities, Beatley is the Teresa Heinz Professor of Sustainable Communities at the University of Virginia where he has taught for the past twenty-five years. He advocates for the importance of incorporating natural systems into urban design and planning to create resilient communities.

Bonus Workshop, Wednesday, March 11

Local Responses to Fracking

With the emergence of new fracking technology, oil and gas development is beginning to occur in communities that have never experienced it before, putting pressure on local governments to regulate the local land use impacts that can be associated with development. This all-day workshop will bring together experts in the field, as well as communities that are at the leading edge of using their regulatory authority, to provide a practice-focused overview of the wide range of practical tools and approaches that local governments can use to address potential land use impacts and opportunities that can arise from development. Colorado’s legal framework will be used as the basis for this workshop, but many of the tools and approaches are transferrable to other jurisdictions.

Plenary Lunch Events

RMLUI brings together two panels to look at the future of development and planning in the Rocky Mountain West.

The Genesis and Future of Federal Large Landscape Conservation Policy
This plenary session will focus on the experiences of senior officials in the Department of the Interior as they consider the past, present, and future of conservation policies in the United States.

From Smart Growth to the New Urban Economics
As downtown development pushes lower-value uses to the urban fringe, “smart growth” is reshaping the metropolitan landscape. This plenary will explain how smart growth is leading to the New Urban Economics.


RMLUI is pleased to bring two tours to the conference this year. Participation in the tours is limited to the space available and costs a nominal fee. Please note: we reserve the right to cancel tours due to low enrollment. If a tour is cancelled, a refund will be issued.

Transforming Sustainability, From Vision to Reality: A Visit to the Alliance Center in Historic LoDo
Participants visit Colorado’s Hub of Sustainability, The Alliance Center. Tour The Alliance Center and discover how green buildings, space design and a novel business model contribute to social, environmental and economic resiliency.

Denver Union Station
This tour will take participants to Denver’s Union Station, which recently underwent a major renovation to become the new transit hub of downtown Denver.

Continuing Education

RMLUI has applied 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.