Speaker Series

The Liveable City Speaker Series provides a forum for informed analysis, thoughtful discourse, and fresh ideas about key issues facing Austin.

The LC Speaker Series has included:

LiveableCity Salon Party - A Vancouver Story: Learnings from a LIveable City - Gordon Price

  • On February 19th of 2015 Liveable City hosted a salon party with Gordon Price. A former six-term Vancouver city councillor, Gordon is now the Director of the City Program at Simon Fraser University. Price’s long career in Vancouver politics, as a board member the Greater Vancouver Transportation Authority and his current scholarly and journalistic work give him unique perspective on the history and current challenges of urban growth in cities across the world.
  • Gordon has an amazing website/blog on urban issues called also called “Price Tags,” Price Tags is a “must read” for anyone interested and engaged in urban issues.
  • The Liveable City Salon Party was attended by about 30 Liveable City members and fellow travelers, including City Council members, City staff and community members. In a question and answer period with the crowd, Gordon emphasized the critical decisions made in Vancouver over the past 40 years to limit the expansion of freeways, invest in public and non-motorized transit access, preserve open space and shape a denser more connected urban fabric. He noted that Austin could only address its transportation challenges by expanding choices residents had to use non-auto based transit. As in Vancouver, shifting the discussion about transit and urban growth patterns in Austin will require leadership, persistence and a sophisticated strategy of dialog and education, and courage a city planning, and knowledge of the city and discerning analysis of urban trends give him a unique perspective that is much in demand.
  • Price’s long political career, knowledge of the city and discerning analysis of urban trends give him a unique perspective on the history and current challenges of urban growth in cities across the world that extremely valuable for is much in demand.
  • In 2002, he finished his sixth term as a City Councillor in Vancouver, BC) and was appointed to the first board of the Greater Vancouver Transportation Authority (TransLink) in 1999.
  • A former six-term Vancouver city councillor, Price’s long political career, knowledge of the city and discerning analysis of urban trends give him a unique perspective that is much in demand.
  • “I try to provide more depth to an issue, particularly by drawing on previous experience on council, and giving the back story,” says Price.

The Greening of Urbanism – Hank Dittmar

  • Hank Dittmar is internationally recognized for a distinguished career in urban design and transportation, including service as President & CEO of Reconnecting America and as an appointee to the President’s Council on Sustainable Development. Since 2005, he has served as Chief Executive of The Prince’s Foundation for the Built Environment in the United Kingdom. He currently chairs the Congress for the New Urbanism, an international membership organization that promotes the creation and restoration of compact, walkable, mixed-use cities, towns, and neighborhoods. His Liveable City address focuses on the Greening of Urbanism across the international community.

Do Public Economic Incentives Work for Austin? – Dr. Michael Oden with Panel Discussion

  • "Building a More Sustainable Economy: Economic Development Strategy and Public Incentives in Austin," a report authored by economist Dr. Michael Oden, forms the basis for a lively panel discussion about Austin’s controversial economic incentives. Key questions included: where does our economic development strategy come from, how is it implemented, and what institutions shape our local economic policies and programs? Panelists: Dr. Michael Oden, Associate Professor, University of Texas; Robin Rather, CEO of Collective Strength; Sean Garretson, principal of Pegasus Planning; and others.

Comp Plan 101 – Garner Stoll and LC Board Members

  • Garner Stoll, Assistant Director of the city’s Neighborhood Planning and Zoning Department, joined Liveable City board and advisory members John-Michael Cortez, Mark Yznaga, and Tara Kirkland for a preview of the Comprehensive Plan process, Austin’s most important planning effort in decades.