The biggest conference about open-streets events (like Sunday Parkways) and tactical urbanism (like Better Block) is coming to Portland next month.
The International Open Streets Summit will bring many people who work to humanize street space to Portland State University from Thursday, Aug. 18 to Saturday, Aug. 20. The draft program includes speakers from Philadelphia; Dallas; Los Angeles; Missoula; Toronto; Cape Town, South Africa; and Santiago, Chile, among others.
The “tactical urbanism” thread is newly added to this conference, reflecting the fact that fast, flexible changes and demos on city streets are a growing trend among community groups and city governments alike. Mike Lydon, a planning consultant helping produce this conference, literally wrote the book on that subject.
We reported last fall that Portland won its bid to host this year’s conference.
This is the event’s third year. The first was in Los Angeles in 2014 and last year’s was in Atlanta. (It drew about 125 people.) Portland’s Sunday Parkways program and Better Block PDX have both been national innovators in these areas, so it’s great for our city to show off the wealth of local expertise.
Early-bird registration is available until tomorrow; it’s $295 and includes off-site tours. Starting Saturday, the price goes up to $350 without tours or $375 with them. There’s also a service fee of $11 to $14. The fee includes lunch on Thursday through Saturday.
— Michael Andersen, (503) 333-7824 – email@example.com
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I was so excited until the last paragraph. It would have been nice if they could have come up with a flexible range of fees (fixed income, student, etc) for the sake of inclusiveness and accessibility.
From the first paragraph of the description of Mike Lydon’s book:
>> In the twenty-first century, cities worldwide must respond to a growing and diverse population, ever-shifting economic conditions, new technologies, and a changing climate. Short-term, community-based projects—from pop-up parks to open streets initiatives—have become a powerful and adaptable new tool of urban activists, planners, and policy-makers seeking to drive lasting improvements in their cities and beyond. These quick, often low-cost, and creative projects are the essence of the Tactical Urbanism movement. <<
It seems that they should be recruiting some of the Tactical Urbanists camped out along the Springwater. They've perfected quick, low-cost pop up housing initiatives!
New Urbanism = New Elitism?
WOW, jeez $295?! Who the heck is their target demographic here? Clearly not most of the riders I know!
Since many employers will fully pay for their employees to attend conferences, the target demographic is likely transportation professionals. As a recent graduate without a job yet, I wish there was volunteer options so I could attend the conference for free or at a reduced rate.
Anyone who would consider flying into Portland for an “international” conference to start, none of which will be surprised that there is an attendance fee.
It’s not a local meetup event.
There are zillions of international conferences and frankly $295 is way cheaper than most and travel expenses, hotel, and food will dwarf the conference rate. It still seems a bit high since they have sponsorship and catering isn’t that high.
That the biggest conference on open streets drew only 125 people from around the world is not encouraging. This is not a highly specialized topic.