Makeover Montgomery 4

Proposals Due by Friday, December 15, 2017

Following the success of our collaborative conferences held in 2011, 2014 and 2016, the National Center for Smart Growth, the Montgomery County Planning Department, and Urban Studies and Planning Program at the University of Maryland are seeking proposals for presentations at Makeover Montgomery 4: Competitive, Healthy, Inclusive and Smart Communities.

The conference will be held from May 9 through May 11, 2018 in College Park and Silver Spring, MD. It will bring together planners, architects, developers, real estate professionals, economists, social scientists, ecologists and others to discuss cutting-edge ideas for transforming the suburbs.

The deadline for submitting presentation proposals online is December 15, 2017 at 5 p.m. The selected presenters will take part in sessions to be held at the Silver Spring Civic Building (1 Veterans Plaza, Silver Spring, MD) on May 10 and 11, 2018. Assistance with travel-related expenses may be available for out-of-town speakers.

Presentations should focus on innovative planning and policy tools, and strategies that can help transform our suburbs into exciting, attractive and sustainable communities. Multiple session tracks will attract a diverse audience that includes practitioners, academics and interested community members from the DC area and across the nation.

About the Conference Tracks

What can suburban communities do to encourage active lifestyles for their residents? Advancing state-of-the-art approaches to increase walkability, reduce the stress of cycling and enhance recreation opportunities, this track will identify ways to create energized and engaging public spaces for healthier communities. Additional track topics could include access to healthy food and innovative concepts like park prescriptions, which partner parks departments with health insurers and medical doctors to encourage healthy living through exercise and outdoor activities.

How must American suburbs change to be competitive in tomorrow's economy? This track will tackle issues related to developing a diverse, educated and sustainable workforce, as well as other strategies for economic development and job growth. Topics include workplace innovations, mixed-use strategies and building the creative culture necessary to succeed in emerging markets.

How can our increasingly diverse suburban communities promote social justice and equity for all? This track highlights efforts to inspire and educate community leaders to tackle issues of environmental justice, advance opportunities for affordable housing and uphold tenant rights.

How will advancements in technology improve public services, change how our communities function and impact growth patterns? This track will address the planning-related impacts of big data and crowd-sourcing analytics, implementation of data sensors and smart technologies, and increased use of drones. Additional topics include the integration of autonomous vehicles and the role of technology incubators.