Kentucky Heritage Council Strong Towns Conference Sept. 24-25

Press Release - 09/08/2015

Kentucky Heritage Council Strong Towns Conference Sept. 24-25
FRANKFORT, Ky. – A two-day conference exploring strategies for community growth and development based on 21st-century challenges will take place Sept. 24-25 in downtown Louisville. The Kentucky Heritage Council (KHC) Strong Towns Conference is being presented in partnership with the Kentucky Main Street Program, Preservation Kentucky, Preservation Louisville and Friends of Kentucky Main Street, with support from KHC member Nana Lampton and Hardscuffle Inc.

Strong Towns is a national nonprofit organization that works to build strong and resilient cities, towns and neighborhoods by promoting policies that create enduring prosperity. While many communities continue to focus on a post-World War II model of suburbanization, the Strong Towns approach maintains that to be successful, citizens and community leaders must adopt a new way of thinking about the future. Success must be built incrementally, driven by citizens in partnership with local governments, who must be willing to provide a platform for collaboration.

“The movement encourages the creation of common goals that support long-term financial solvency by looking differently at land, transportation systems, infrastructure and the existing built environment, which must be viewed as shared assets,” said Craig Potts, KHC executive director and state historic preservation officer. “Given recent community conversations about development projects across the state, we feel the timing of this conference could not be better.”

In addition to Potts, speakers include Charles L. “Chuck” Marohn Jr., Strong Towns founder and president, a professional engineer and member of the American Institute of Certified Planners; Jim Kumon, executive director of the Incremental Development Alliance; R. John Anderson, CNU, co-founder and principal for Anderson|Kim Architecture + Urban Design; Jim Lindberg, senior director of the National Trust for Historic Preservation Green Lab; Kitty Dougoud, KHC Kentucky Main Street Program Administrator; and Steve Ervin, Paducah planning director.

“For the last five years, we have been traveling the country sharing a presentation called the ‘Curbside Chat’ ( to audiences in cities big and small, which tells how we have literally built ourselves into financial decline,” Marohn said. “The shared discovery is that our cities and towns are interconnected by a system that emphasizes continuous growth over resiliency and adaptability.”

Featured topics will include “The Finance Behind our Places,” a look at how community projects are financed and how return on investment is calculated in relation to long-term financial obligation; “Transportation in the Next American City – Demystifying the Link between Mobility and Local Economics,” how to build high-performance roads and streets at a human scale to create financial value for a community; “A New Path Forward,” a look at how financial analysis can better guide resource investments; and “Open Space Technology,” an approach to purpose-driven leadership.

The conference will take place from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 24 and 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 25 at the Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts, Bomhard Theater. Preregistration is $25, good for both days, or $35 at the door. Click to register or visit

The conference hotel is the Hilton Garden Inn Louisville Downtown.

Learn more about Strong Towns or watch a 15-minute TED Talk with Marohn.

Strong Towns Schedule (.pdf - 168 Kb)