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Center for Planning Excellence announces 2017 Louisiana Smart Growth Summit Nov. 7 & 8

“Smart Cities” track will showcase cutting edge technologies, trends in using data to improve communities

BATON ROUGE, La. – The Center for Planning Excellence (CPEX) will host the 12th Annual Louisiana Smart Growth Summit November 7 & 8, 2017 at the Manship Theatre in the Shaw Center for the Arts.

The Louisiana Smart Growth Summit is the Southeast’s premier event promoting dialogue on innovative planning, creating healthier and more resilient communities, safer streets and transportation options, real estate and development trends, and the important role of policymaking and leadership.

Tuesday’s agenda features a keynote address by Carol Coletta, Senior Fellow at the Kresge Foundation’s American Cities Practice. Carol leads a proposed $40 million collaboration of foundations, nonprofits and governments to demonstrate the ways in which a connected set of civic assets – a civic commons – can yield increased and more widely shared prosperity for cities and neighborhoods.

The Summit's Wednesday agenda will feature a “Smart Cities track.". These rapid-fire sessions will focus on various applications available to cities and communities to improve safety, efficiency, and performance using open data and integrated platforms to address everything from permitting to blight to attainable housing to transportation choices.

During Wednesday’s “Smart Cities” track, Mayor Andy Berke of Chattanooga, Tenn. will deliver a keynote address on closing the digital divide through broadband infrastructure, as well as the city’s recent regional plan focused on making Chattanooga a great place to live regardless of one’s zip code.

Continuing education opportunities are available for planners, realtors, attorneys, architects, engineers, landscape architects, and LEED professionals.

Registration is available online at, and a full list of speakers and sessions is available at

In addition to Ms. Coletta and Mayor Berke, other featured speakers include:
  • Jaime Lerner, Architect and Urban Planner, Jaime Lerner Arquitetos Associados: Former president of the UIA - International Union of Architects in the 2002/2005 term, three-time mayor of Curitiba, Brazil, he led the urban revolution that made the city renowned for urban planning, public transportation, environmental social programs and urban projects. He served as governor of Parana State twice and conducted an economic and social transformation both in the urban and rural areas. His international awards include the highest United Nations Environmental Award (1990), Child and Peace Award from UNICEF (1996), the 2001 World Technology Award for Transportation, and the 2002 Sir Robert Mathew Prize for the Improvement of Quality of Human Settlements. In 2010 Lerner was nominated among the 25 most influential thinkers in the world by the Time magazine and in 2011, in recognition for his leadership, vision and contribution in the field or sustainable urban mobility, he received the Leadership in Transport Award, granted by the International Transport Forum at the OECD. JLAA practice develops projects for the public and private sectors for cities in Brazil and abroad.

  • Seleta Reynolds, General Manager, Los Angeles Department of Transportation: Ms. Reynolds is responsible for implementing Great Streets for Los Angeles, a plan to reduce traffic fatalities, double the number of people riding bikes, and expand access to integrated transportation choices for Angelinos and the region. Ms. Reynolds has over 18 years of transportation experience throughout the United States. She has advised transportation technology companies like WalkScore, contributed to the state-of-the-practice as an Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals Board Member, mentored young professionals through Women’s Transportation Seminar, and nurtured research on Transportation Research Board committees. Ms. Reynolds serves as the President of the National Association for City Transportation Officials.

  • Jim Barbaresso, National Practice Leader for Intelligent Transportation Systems, HNTB Corporation: Jim Barbaresso is shaping or influencing a number of projects related to the national Autonomous Vehicle and Connected Vehicle initiative, including designing and building one of the first live test beds with the Michigan Department of Transportation. In the past 30 years, he has worked with transportation clients, automobile manufacturers and technology companies, successfully planning, implementing and managing some of the largest, most visible Intelligent Transportation Systems and autonomous and connected vehicles programs in the United States.

  • Jerry Paffendorf, Co-Founder and CEO, Loveland Technologies: Jerry Paffendorf is co-founder and CEO of Loveland Technologies, a mapping company based in Detroit that is focused on mapping ownership and land use for properties across the world. The company works with governments, developers, neighborhood groups, and passionate individuals to gather and present information about property in clear, actionable ways. Loveland’s Detroit projects include mapping tax foreclosures at, and digitizing the city’s property information to help fight blight at Paffendorf earned a master’s degree from the University of Houston-Clear Lake.

  • Denice Ross: Public Interest Technology Fellow, New America: Denice W. Ross is a Public Interest Technology Fellow at New America. She specializes in data transparency and civic engagement, with a focus on action at the local level. Before joining New America, Ross was a senior advisor in the Obama White House, where she leveraged data and innovation to improve the effectiveness and sustainability of community-based federal programs. As a presidential innovation fellow in 2014, she co-founded the White House Police Data Initiative, one of the most tangible responses to the 21st Century Policing Task Force report, and she worked with the Department of Energy on crowdsourcing private-sector data to improve community resilience in disaster-impacted areas. Earlier, she served as director of enterprise innovation for the City of New Orleans, where she built a digital services team and established open data as the cornerstone for performance management and public engagement. Prior to her roles in government, Ross co-directed the Greater New Orleans Community Data Center (GNOCDC), a non-profit data intermediary and member of the Urban Institute’s National Neighborhood Indicators Partnership. When Hurricane Katrina propelled New Orleans into the national spotlight, Ross collaborated with Brookings to track the city’s recovery through The New Orleans Index. In addition, she actively participated in numerous post-Katrina community planning initiatives, and co-founded the first new childcare center after the storm. Ross began her technology career building web sites, and holds a bachelor of science from the University of Arizona. She lives in the D.C. area with her husband and four children.

About the Center for Planning Excellence The nonprofit Center for Planning Excellence (CPEX) brings people, culture, and planning together to make great communities happen. CPEX coordinates urban, rural and regional planning efforts in Louisiana, by working towards great neighborhoods and quality places; transportation choices; resilient communities; and civic engagement and education. More information is available at


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