Rocky Mountain Land Use Institute


The Rocky Mountain West is characterized as much by its vibrant and diverse communities as by its sweeping plains and rugged mountains. The annual Western Places | Western Spaces conference explores the social and development issues facing communities—from large cities to small towns—as well as concerns about managing and preserving our natural heritage.

2022 Western Places | Western Spaces Conference

Request for Proposals

The Rocky Mountain Land Use Institute at the University of Denver’s Sturm College of Law is seeking session proposals for inclusion in the 2022 Western Places | Western Spaces annual land use conference.

Click here to download the 2022 RFP Guidelines.
Click here to download a sample submission form.
RFP Proposal

Growth & Change in the West: Adapting Sustainably

As we emerge from the pandemic, the West is facing immense pressures from growth and change that challenge our notions of sustainability in our region. The changing nature of work has allowed significant migration to high-amenity communities, straining local infrastructure, driving up housing prices, and displacing long-time residents. The cost of living in many areas of the region far outpace the average incomes, resulting in economic dislocation and rising income inequality. An intractable housing affordability crisis is spreading beyond our urban areas to exurban communities and rural towns, where people are now moving in greater numbers. The numbers of unhoused people who are camping in urban rights of way, parks, and public spaces is exploding. These growing populations, drawn to our iconic landscapes, are loving our public lands and national parks to death.

At the same time, the impacts of climate change are upon us. The West is experiencing an extended drought that threatens our regional water supply and our forests. The fire season is growing in duration and severity with each passing year. The condition and range of habitat to support biodiversity and Western wildlife is declining. The heat island effect in developed areas is affecting public health and our quality of life.

As we face these challenges (and many more), we wonder how the region will adapt to these mounting pressures and what measures we need to be taking now to ensure greater resilience to whatever the future holds. How do we ensure that newcomers to the region do not price out long-time residents? Can we grow in ways that are inclusive and equitable, providing housing and access to jobs and opportunity across the economic spectrum? Are there limits to our capacity to absorb growth? Can we resist the pressure to build housing in marginal and hazardous places, like floodplains and the wildland urban interface? How do we manage increasingly scarce resources like water or access to national parks in ways that are equitable and fair? As the region recovers from the pandemic and booms again, can we ensure that our shifting land use practices are sustainable? Finally, can we Westerners adapt, culturally and politically, to the changing realities in our communities and invest in the policy tools that could enhance our long-term resilience?

For more information about Growth & Change in the West: Adapting Sustainably, the session topics, session criteria, and submitting a proposal, please download the RFP Guidelines. For a sample submission form, Click here.

Important Dates

Friday, August 13, 2021: proposals due
September 2021: applicants will be informed of the status of their proposals
October 2021: selected sessions must be finalized (title, description, speakers)
November 2021: registration opens
March 23, 24 & 25, 2022: RMLUI’s Annual Land Use Conference

Please contact us:
Phone: 303-871-6319

Sponsorship & Promotional Opportunities

Our conference is not possible without the generous support of our sponsors. These financial contributions help fund our programs and conference activities, including top-notch keynote speakers, plenary lunch events, and tours. Conference sponsorship provides visibility and underscores your company’s commitment to sustainable communities and informed and ethical land use and development practices.

Equally important are our Aspen sponsors, who provide in-kind marketing and promotional support.

For more information, please see our Sponsorship Platforms Brochure or contact Susan Daggett.

Conference Materials

You can view and download materials from the 2021 conference sessions at the 2021 Session Materials page. Watch videos from the sessions on the 2021 Conference Videos page. For materials from past events, visit the Past Conferences page.


The University of Denver Sturm College of Law is committed to providing facilities that are accessible to persons with and without disabilities. We encourage anyone who requires assistance to contact Lisa Loranger at or 303-871-6319 for further information.

Sturm College of Law
University of Denver
2255 E. Evans Avenue
Denver, CO 80208