On July 19, Smart Growth America (@SmartGrowthUSA) hosted its annual Local Leaders Council (@SGALocalLeaders),meeting at the Center for Total Health. Attendees included influential leaders from various communities around the nation including mayors, city council members, county officials, city managers and agency heads. The event allowed these influential leaders to incorporate total health into their community and the content at the center provided a perfect backdrop.
Geoffrey Anderson, president of Smart Growth America, started off the event with a warm welcome. Parris Glendening, former governor of Maryland, and Rick Danner, mayor of Greer, South Carolina, both spoke about the excellent solutions Smart Growth America has developed. The keynote speaker, Amy Liu (@amy_liuw), the vice president and director of Metropolitan Policy Program at Brookings, touched on growth and planning during her talk, titled “Economic Development for All”. Through her work in urban and social planning in challenged economic communities in Philadelphia, she has learned numerous solutions to improving residents overall quality of life by improving the economy in a neighborhood. As Amy Liu stated, “Better jobs, access to grocery stores and community programs for youth will improve the health of disadvantaged residents.” It was a pleasure hearing Amy Liu’s solutions and ideas for creating healthier neighborhoods, mainly in metropolitan areas such as Washington, DC, and its surroundings.
Throughout the day, Smart Growth America rotated through different breakout sessions and seminars for guests to discuss and brainstorm solutions. One such seminar was Creative Placemaking Strategies, giving community leaders tools for success. Another was Revitalization without Displacement, which encouraged leaders to brainstorm strategies to improve the economy in their community. Guests also networked with one another over a catered lunch and were invited on a 20 minute guided walking tour with Ted Eytan, MD, (@tedeytan). The event ended with a closing plenary discussion by Peg Moertl, the senior vice president of Community Development Banking of PNC Bank, Sarah Goldfarb, director of Policy and Research of Jersey City Redevelopment Agency, Ken Bowers, planning director in Raleigh, North Carolina, and Dean Gordon, director of Business Growth in Birmingham, Alabama.
Once again, the center is glad Smart Growth America held this inspirational annual event at the Kaiser Permanente Center for Total Health. If you would like to host an event at our center, please visit our website.