Keynote speakers not to be missed at annual state conference

Ilana Pruess, Smart Growth America

The 2014 APA Washington Annual Conference will open with a thought-provoking address by Ilana Pruess, chief of staff at Smart Growth America. Ilana’s presentation will focus on her recent interest in the resurging manufacturing industry in the United States. Many communities throughout the country have rezoned historic industrial districts, allowing a wide range of commercial and residential uses. Current trends show that manufacturing, especially small-scale operations, are making a comeback in many cities across the country. Ilana will make the case for flexible “mixed-use industrial” zoning.

Prior to working for Smart Growth America, Ilana was outreach director for the Transportation for America Campaign. Ilana led organizing efforts for this political campaign, recruiting a wide diversity of partners from the business community, elected officials, and other organizations for the campaign to reform national transportation policy. Ilana also worked for the EPA, most recently as director of the acclaimed technical assistance program. Ilana has a master’s degree from the University of Maryland in environmental planning and a bachelor’s degree from Cornell University in city planning.

Bob Gibbs, Gibbs Planning Group

The Spokane conference planning committee is extremely pleased to have Bob Gibbs present the luncheon keynote address. Bob is considered to be one of the most knowledgeable urban retail planning consultants in the country and has more than two decades of experience working in this sector of planning and development. Bob keeps close tabs on retail shopping trends and research and believes that sustainable development and vibrant community life are only possible with a vibrant commercial life. He further believes that intelligent, studied strategies are vital to both historic downtowns and new town centers.

Every summer, Bob Gibbs teaches an Urban Retail class at Harvard University, focusing on best practices of New Urbanism, Smart Growth, and architectural design to create competitive mixed-use urban commercial centers. The course is ideal for developers, planners, investors, retailers, architects, and public officials. Bob has written numerous articles for a diverse range of publications, including New Urban News, The Atlantic, Planning & Zoning News and Shopping Centers Today and has a new book titled Principles of Urban Retail Planning and Development.

Bob has worked for cities, states, universities, and developers throughout the United States and around the world. The topic of Bob’s speech, “The X-Factor of Placemaking” is certain to be interesting and educational for all conference attendees.


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