Sustainable Dubuque Updates Graphic


Cori Burbach, assistant city manager, City of Dubuque, 563-589-4110;
Randy Rodgers, executive editor, Sustainable City Network, 563-588-3853

Andrew Young and Tom Vilsack to Speak
at Dubuque Sustainability Conference

11th Annual Growing Sustainable Communities Conference is Oct. 2-3

DUBUQUE, Iowa -- Civil rights legend Andrew Young and former Iowa Governor and U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack will be featured speakers at the 11th annual Growing Sustainable Communities Conference in Dubuque on Oct. 2 and 3.
Ambassador Young is a former U.S. congressman, mayor of Atlanta, and U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations. He and Vilsack will share the stage at the conference's keynote luncheon on the first day of the event. Their presentation will focus on the impact of water quality and quantity on resiliency efforts in communities.
Young and Vilsack will discuss the impacts of flooding on some of the country's most vulnerable populations, the required partnership between urban and agricultural communities in addressing water quality concerns, and the impacts these topics have on community planning.
Dan Burden, director of innovation and inspiration for Blue Zones, LLC, will deliver the luncheon keynote address on Wednesday, Oct. 3, and Dr. Marccus D. Hendricks will speak at the breakfast plenary session on that day.
Burden is a nationally recognized authority on walkable, livable and sustainable communities, complete streets, and bicycle and pedestrian facilities and programs. He has become known for his pioneering work on transforming communities into places for people first; all while still accommodating the car, and not the other way around.
Hendricks will launch day two of the conference by discussing the collision of climate and environmental risks and the human-built environment and how using sustainable development to address these issues has to be anchored in equity and environmental justice.
More than 500 registrants from across the U.S. and Canada attended last year's event, which is co-hosted by the City of Dubuque and Sustainable City Network. Attendees include municipal professionals, urban planners, elected officials, state and federal agency personnel, students and faculty members and facility managers at institutions and private-sector businesses, among others.
The conference is financially supported by Crescent Electric Supply Co., and more than 30 other corporate sponsors, many of whom will be displaying their products and services in the exhibit hall at the conference venue.
Held at the Grand River Center, 500 Bell St., in the Port of Dubuque, the conference will feature more than 30 workshops and mobile tours on topics related to sustainable community development, social vibrancy, climate adaptation, renewable energy, green infrastructure, resource conservation and other sustainability topics.
Workshop presentations will feature case studies of sustainability initiatives in communities large and small. Presenters will include representatives from the Iowa Economic Development Authority, the Nebraska Forest Service, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, the American Planning Association, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Mid Missouri Solid Waste Management District, the St. Louis Economic Development Partnership, the Iowa Department of Human Rights, the Midwest Renewable Energy Association, the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, the Iowa Flood Center, Green Iowa AmeriCorps, and the Landscape Architecture Foundation.
Presenters from municipal governments will include those from Cedar Rapids, Des Moines, Dubuque, Bloomfield, Iowa City, Algona, and Marion, Iowa; Middleton and Madison, Wis.; Fort Collins, Colo.; Brookings, S.D.; Edina, Minn.; Petaluma, Calif.; Polk County, Iowa; and Kane County, Ill.
Representatives from numerous educational institutions and experts from private-sector consulting firms will also speak at the conference.
For registration and full workshop descriptions, visit:
Six workshop sessions will include as many as six concurrent presentations:
Workshop Session 1

  • Solar + Storage: Taking Advantage of New Energy Technology
  • The Role of Urban Forests in Sustainable Communities
  • Sustainability Planning in Small to Mid-Sized Communities
  • Building a Real Estate Design Guide for More Sustainable Development
  • Green and Affordable Housing Made Easy

Workshop Session 2
  • Keeping PACE with Clean Energy in Wisconsin
  • Hazard Mitigation as a Local Planning Priority
  • Iowa Watershed Approach Flood Mitigation Program
  • Building Healthy and Resilient Neighborhoods in Distressed Urban Settings
  • Regional Solutions in Solid Waste Management
  • Utility Management Through Measurement with Sub-Metering

Workshop Session 3
  • The Million Gallon Challenge
  • Strategies in Green Remediation on Complex Brownfield Sites
  • Parallels, Problems & Possibilities in Urban & Rural Sustainability
  • Smart Energy Neighborhoods
  • Building Vibrant Rural Communities through Geo-Tourism
  • Bike and Pedestrian Planning in a Small Community

Workshop Session 4
  • Attaining Living Building Challenge Certification
  • Green Campus Initiatives
  • Revitalizing a Community Impacted by Civil Unrest
  • The Iowa Talent Bank: A Movement for Inclusion
  • Winning with Local Food Development
  • Nutrient Harvesting to Sustain Water Quality And Reduce GHG Emissions

Workshop Session 5
  • Partnerships in Energy Planning
  • Green Infrastructure Metrics and Best Practices
  • Building Coalitions Anywhere
  • Dubuque's Waste-to-Energy Project Update
  • Step into Nature with Marion
  • How Variable Frequency Drives Lower Costs in Municipal Pumping Stations

Workshop Session 6
  • Innovative Community Design
  • New Tools in the Quest for Resiliency
  • The Latest in Biogas Conversion

Mobile Tours
(Separate Registration Required)
  • Sinsinawa Mound Collaborative Farm
  • Bee Branch Watershed Bike Tour
  • Alliant Energy's Dubuque Solar Garden

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