Tuesday, November 24, 2009
I just had a very interesting conversation with James van Hemert, director of University of Denver's Rocky Mountain Land Use Institute. Some of you may attend their annual conference in Denver. The theme next year is "The New American Landscape" and the conference will be held March 4 & 5th.
The Institute also has some fascinating long term projects highlighted on their website. The one that particularly intrigues me is the Sustainable Communities Development Code. This is a very comprehensive set of incentives and model code that addresses many aspects of sustainable land use, include climate change, transit-oriented development, water conservation, and food production and security. It's an extremely ambitious project and James and Institute co-founder Christopher Duerksen have pulled it off using mostly pro bono and student assistance.
Another Institute project that has an interdisciplinary public health component is Planning for Active Community Environments. This is a series of community trainings on collaboration between public health and land use advocates. We've all read about the connection between sprawl and obesity - this is an effort by the Institute to address this issue in a very practical way.
Jamie Baker Roskie