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OU's Institute for Quality Communities to Host Placemaking Conference: Placemakers

Institute for Quality Communities Placemaking Conference 2017




NORMAN – Experts on designing livable and healthy communities, large and small, will headline the University of Oklahoma Institute for Quality Communities’ Placemaking Conference Monday, April 3, on the OU Norman campus. The conference targets city planners and developers as well as mayors and city councils across the state to collaborate and engage the public in an effort to enhance Oklahoma communities.

“This is a unique opportunity for the OU community along with leaders from all over the state to come together to learn from national experts about how to make our cities and towns stronger and more livable communities,” said OU President David L. Boren.

The featured speaker at the keynote luncheon is Jim Brainard, now in his sixth term as mayor of Carmel, Indiana. During his tenure, Carmel has tripled in population and has become a vibrant, prospering city. Brainard spearheaded the revitalization of the city’s Old Town area into an Arts and Design District, which has transformed a much-neglected original center of town into a thriving district with galleries, restaurants, shops and community events, attracting thousands of visitors each year and the attention of the national and international media. In his talk, “Leadership in Placemaking,” Brainard will share how he put his vision to action and implemented change in his community.

“We are excited to welcome Mayor Brainard and seven more engaging placemakers to share personal stories of improving the communities where they live and work,” said Shane Hampton, director of the Institute for Quality Communities.

Brainard will be joined by seven industry leaders from across the country who will share their perspectives on improving community planning, design and governance during the daylong conference. The Placemaking Conference will begin at 9:30 a.m. in the Paul F. Sharp Concert Hall. Hampton will begin the event with a welcome. Hans E. Butzer, dean of the OU College of Architecture, will then introduce Boren, who will offer opening remarks.

In addition to Brainard, speakers and topics are:

· Victor Dover, principal of Dover, Kohl & Partners, “Making Great Streets”

· Toni Griffin, founder of Urban Planning and Design for the American City, “Design for the Just City”

· Patrick Kennedy, founder of A New Dallas, “A New Dallas”

· Fred Kent, founder and president of Project for Public Spaces, “The Story of Placemaking”

· Mike Lydon, principal of Street Plans Collaborative, “Tactical Urbanism”

· Susan Silberberg, founder of CivicMoxie, “Placemaking: Ideas to Action”

· Marcus Westbury, founder of Renew Australia, “Renew Australia”

Founded in 2008 in the OU College of Architecture, the Institute for Quality Communities provides community design and development assistance in an effort to enhance Oklahoma towns and cities.

The morning and afternoon sessions will be held in the Paul F. Sharp Concert Hall in Catlett Music Center, 500 W. Boyd St. The keynote luncheon will be held in Oklahoma Memorial Union, 900 Asp Ave. Reservations are required for lunch. Buses will be available to transport conference attendees to and from Catlett Music Center and Oklahoma Memorial Union.

For reservations to any of these events, more information and accommodations, please call the OU Office of Public Affairs at (405) 325-3784 or email For information on the Institute for Quality Communities, to register online and a complete schedule of events, please visit

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