A couple of months ago, at the request of Alexandria Mayor Jacques Roy, Daniel and I, along with the support of the Center for Planning Excellence and Senator Mary Landrieu’s office, began developing a concept for the first-ever Summit on Sustainability.

The Center for Planning Excellence (CPEX) hosts the annual Smart Growth Summit in Baton Rouge, which, this year, will be held on August 14th and 15th at the Manship Theater. (It’s a great event, featuring world-renowned speakers and expert panels on a variety of issues).

We wanted to do something that could speak to the unique assets we possess as a region– as well as the importance of recognizing sustainable planning and the incredible opportunies presented by the burgeoning green economy, something that can excite both venture capitalists and farmers alike.

On Wednesday, July 2, 2008, the City of Alexandria will host the first-ever Summit on Sustainability, a one-of-a-kind, day-long event focusing on a wide range of issues- everything from renewable energy to historic preservation.

Sustainability isn’t simply about the energy market; it’s about future-proofing, urban planning, preservation, land use codes, and the dialectic between sprawl and in-fill.

Senator Mary Landrieu will be the keynote speaker, and the summit will also feature presentations by Public Service Commissioner Foster Campbell as well as academic scholars, private sector leaders, and government agency experts.

The summit will be held from 8:30AM to 4:00PM at the Coughlin-Saunders Performing Arts Center in Downtown Alexandria.

Alexandria’s Summit on Sustainability will particularly focus on the ways in which the emerging renewable energy market and smart growth planning practices affect small cities and rural towns.

Registration is $20, and continuing education credit may be available for realtors and planners.

The event is completely open to the public, and we definitely welcome members of the Louisiana blogosphere to join in the conversation and participate in the summit. You can pre-register by leaving a comment here, sending an e-mail to lamarw at gmail dot com, or calling 318-449-5009 and confirming with Daniel. Or you can show up early, between 7:30 and 8:30AM, on July 2nd. By the way, lunch is provided.

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