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Look at last year’s schedule to see the types of content you will find at City Summit.

View the full 2016 City Summit schedule from the program book.

2016 Workshops

9:00 AM - 10:30 AM

#EngagingYourYouthCitizensViaSocialMedia

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In 2016, it seems most municipal government has a youth council to have healthy and proactive discussion and implementation of policies for young citizens to thrive. But what about linking your young citizens to engage directly if not part of that youth council? Learn tools and strategies on how to engage youth via social media by looking at examples of this engagement and creating your own social media plan by the end of the session.

9:00 AM - 10:30 AM

Getting Your City Unstuck

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Small communities throughout the United States are looking for ways to strengthen their economies, provide better quality of life, and build on local assets. Many small towns are facing challenges, including rapid growth at metropolitan edges, declining populations, and loss of farms and working lands. Slow-growing and shrinking areas might find that their policies are not bringing the prosperity they seek, while fast-growing areas at the edge of metropolitan regions face metropolitan-style development pressures. Asset-based planning strategies can help small communities achieve their goals for growth and development while maintaining their distinctive character.

 

9:00 AM - 10:30 AM

How to Prevent a Water Crisis

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City leaders understand that the Flint water crisis is far from an isolated incident. The water and sewer systems that are essential to the health of our communities is a constant struggle with little margin for error. Whether your town is threatened by contaminates such as lead and arsenic, challenged to maintain aging infrastructure, or operating under consent decree, it is important to find solutions that are financially and environmentally responsible. This session explain how local officials and utility managers can work together to ensure their citizens have access to affordable, reliable drinking water.

9:00 AM - 10:30 AM

Passenger Rail: Building Community and Invigorating the Economy

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Communities across the country have realized that trains stations can anchor downtown business districts. From station upgrades to intermodal connectivity; good planning and community vision can help cities of all sizes reenergize cities. Train stations in communities of all sizes are being re-envisioned and leveraged to improve transportation connections; support local tourism and, underpin economic development investments. This panel will bring together city officials and partners to identify what has worked, common pitfalls and best practices for you to consider as your cities think about local passenger rail resources.

9:00 AM - 10:30 AM

Promoting Economic Development and Public Safety Through Afterschool and Summer Learning Opportunities

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One of the most significant things municipal leaders can do for children and youth is create afterschool and summer opportunities. They can be critical strategies to address the skills gap, keep kids safe, prepare young people for the workforce and entice businesses to come to the city. With crime escalating between 3-6 p.m., quality afterschool programs solve a major city issue. With businesses complaining that entry workers are not prepared for jobs, afterschool and summer programs provide a unique space to develop new skills and expose young people to careers early. In this session, city officials will learn how leaders in Pittsburgh and Charlotte have championed these issues and convened a diverse group of partners to create a coordinated city-wide effort to promote afterschool and summer learning opportunities. The strategies highlighted in this session are scalable to cities of all sizes. Learn the roles municipal leaders can play to invest in young people as a plan to build a stronger future.

9:00 AM - 10:30 AM

REAL Talk: Taking Action on Racial Equity

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City leaders have a unique capacity to engage with their communities on racial equity issues and make smart policy decisions that can reduce racial inequities. Do not wait for a tragedy to occur in your city to address these pressing issues. City leaders share their experiences leading efforts to advance racial equity in police-community relations, economic development, and a systematic approach across government agencies. Panelists offer lessons learned, promising practices, and tools for action.

 

9:00 AM - 10:30 AM

Sustainable Solutions for Water Infrastructure

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City leaders everywhere are quickly striving to understand and apply the lessons from the Flint water crisis as reports continue to demonstrate that is is far from an isolated incident. Whether your local water utility is threatened by contaminates such as lead and arsenic, challenged to maintain aging pipes, or preparing for a major water infrastructure investments, it is important to find solutions that are financially and environmentally responsible. This session explain how local officials and utility managers can work together to ensure their citizens have access to affordable, reliable drinking water.

 

10:30 AM - 12:00 PM

Addressing the Opioid Epidemic in Small Cities

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The opioid epidemic does not discriminate among communities. This is a major public health crisis. Cities and towns are innovating in their responses and focusing on helping get treatment for those with substance use disorder rather than sending them off to prison. Treatment is expensive, it takes time, and it takes many partnerships but the effort is worth the cost in lives saved. Cities, working with counties, churches, pharmacies, first responders, doctors, and hospitals can achieve great success.

 

10:30 AM - 12:00 PM

Autonomous Vehicles in the City: Who’s Driving the Future?

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For years, autonomous vehicles, or self-driving cars, seemed like a fantasy, something that everyone could imagine via futuristic shows and movies, but something that was unlikely to come to fruition. However, autonomous vehicles are coming, and soon. This workshop will feature a discussion between several experts in this field. Hear about what where autonomous vehicle research and technology development is currently, what this means for cities and how they should prepare, and how they will be rolled out commercially in the near future.

10:30 AM - 12:00 PM

Law Enforcement for Today’s City

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Modern police departments must find a happy medium between retaining their traditional law enforcement role and building community resources. Police departments can partner with other city agencies and community service providers to provide officers with guidance on when and how to use their tools to reduce disparities and direct services where needed. Learn how police departments are improving community relations and reducing racial and ethnic disparities in the justice system, and how departments can build partnerships to meet the current needs of their community.

 

10:30 AM - 12:00 PM

Successful Models for Converting City-Held Property Into Affordable Housing

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The lack of affordable housing and the crisis it presents to the fabric of communities is no secret. With dwindling resources and increased demand, the need to capitalize on the opportunities presented by municipally held properties is increasingly important. In the wake of the foreclosure crisis, more cities began venturing into the realm of solving the dual problems of foreclosures and the need for affordable housing. Nearly a decade later, local leaders have the opportunity to learn from models that have established nationally recognized best practices. Who are trusted leaders your city can partner with? What type of housing is possible? Who should it serve? Learn how you can lead your city to better meet the growing housing needs of people ranging from teachers, police, and firefighters to seniors, the disabled, and other special needs populations.

10:30 AM - 12:00 PM

Summer Jobs for Successful Futures

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A young person’s first job is a critical developmental step toward adulthood. A first job provides an opportunity for youth to engage with the financial system and also infuses earnings into the local economy. In cities across the nation, youth employment programs are the single most significant way that hundreds of thousands of teens are introduced to the working world each year. With municipal ingenuity as well as private sector and philanthropic support, some city leaders and partners have developed innovative, locally-financed summer employment programs in recent years. Learn about opportunities to put more young people to work in your city next summer--and build youth financial capacity and measure results as well.

10:30 AM - 12:00 PM

Sustainability Savings

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Local governments across the country have laid out ambitious sustainability goals covering energy, water and waste reductions. How are they progressing? This session features sustainability leaders from multiple communities who will share their secrets to their success. Each city is executing plans to save taxpayer dollars while conserving resources and building cross-departmental collaboration. Join an open discussion on topics ranging from sustainability budgeting, operating structures, public engagement, and other lessons learned from panelists with decades of combined experience. Learn to help your city establish sustainability goals and get specific energy- and water-saving practices to cut down on municipal costs.

10:45 AM - 12:15 PM

A Connected City: Engaging a Community in Early Childhood Education

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Pittsburgh has a rich history is supporting its youngest residents—through early childhood trailblazers such as Fred Rogers, Dr. Spock, Margaret McFarland and others, Pittsburgh is Kidsburgh! Today, Pittsburgh is proud to boast a cross-sector approach to ensuring all of our region’s young children thrive. Panelist’s Councilwoman Natalia Rudiak, Deputy Chief of Education LaTrenda Leonard, Pittsburgh AEYC Executive Director Cara Ciminillo, and Pittsburgh Public School’s Executive Director of Early Childhood Programs, Carol Barone Martin share their collaborative efforts to raising the quality of early childhood for Pittsburgh. Discussion will highlight the unique partnership between stand-alone child care settings and Pittsburgh Public Schools as well as City Council and the Mayor’s efforts in using their bully pulpit toward greater support for those who care for young children—both families and care and education providers.  

 

10:45 AM - 12:15 PM

Cities and Drones: What City Leaders Need to Know about Unmanned Aerial Vehicles

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The use of unmanned aviation systems, more commonly referred to as drones, has skyrocketed in the past two years. However, along with opportunity, drones present unique challenges and concerns for city government. Drones raise safety, privacy, nuisance and trespassing concerns, all of which are compounded by the lack of accountability associated with most drone operations today. This panel discussion will bring together industry experts with a focus on helping cities encourage innovation, while simultaneously protecting local interests in a rapidly evolving regulatory environment.

10:45 AM - 12:15 PM

Maker City: How to Support The New Wave of Local Manufacturing

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New local manufacturing opportunities are poised to create job growth and economic prosperity within our communities. However, cities miss the boat if they don’t create an environment that supports business innovation, skills alignment, and workforce training. Join this session to hear about how cities have prepared for the next wave of local manufacturing, with a focus on advanced industries and the emerging maker movement. 

 

10:45 AM - 12:15 PM

Making Change: Finding Funding for Climate Action

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U.S. municipalities have numerous infrastructure, climate mitigation, and adaptation investment needs. It is estimated that the U.S. must invest $3.6 trillion in basic infrastructure by 2020, including transportation systems, waterways, and the power sector. How can U.S. cities position themselves to lead the effort to fund projects to reduce energy use and promote green infrastructure? Furthermore, many investors and bond rating agencies are beginning to incorporate a broader set of environmental, social, and governance criteria including climate change management into the investment process. What are the implications for cities if more than traditional economic and socioeconomic information is used to assess creditworthiness? Learn how to communicate your top priority projects to give investors insight into bankable deals in climate action and sustainability. This workshop is being organized in partnership with the Carbon Disclosure Project.

10:45 AM - 12:15 PM

Real Money, Real Power: Participatory Budgeting in the United States

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Participatory budgeting (PB) is one of the fastest growing innovations in democracy. Used to empower residents to make real decisions about real money, together with experts, this process has resulted in more effective and equitable spending, stronger communities, and greater public trust and support for elected officials. At this session, local officials and technical experts will share their experiences with PB. The director of the Participatory Budgeting Project, a non-profit organization supporting the implementation and growth of PB in North America, will provide an overview of PB, explaining how it has addressed common challenges of public participation. Elected officials and city staff from California, Illinois, and Massachusetts will then share their lessons learned from implementing PB.

 

1:30 PM - 3:00 PM

Cities Have the Power: Securing a Clean, Affordable Energy Future

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Cities have an interest in securing reliable, affordable, and clean electricity services for their communities. Renewables, efficiency gains, evolving utility models, microgrids, battery storage, and other innovations are rapidly changing the local electricity landscape. In this session, hear how cities are leveraging their role as a policy maker, rate payer, and, in some cases, utility provider to ensure that the future of this critical sector is bright. Learn what tools, resources, and partnership structures are available to help maximize your city’s potential for resilient, affordable, and sustainable energy.

1:30 PM - 3:00 PM

Creating Safe Communities by Building Hope and Resilience

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Exposure to violence and other adverse childhood experiences generate trauma that can harm early brain development and result in serious health and mental health problems later in life. The good news is that communities can come together to help children and youth become more resilient and overcome these traumatic experiences. Following a brief overview of what we know about childhood trauma and resilience, this highly interactive session will allow participants to share ideas and learn from their peers through a series of concurrent, roundtable discussions. Topics for table-level discussions in this “world café” format will include: police-community trust; violence prevention; domestic violence; juvenile justice and jail reform; early childhood success; health equity; and social-emotional learning. Please come join us for these important conversations!

1:30 PM - 3:00 PM

Getting Started with ‘Smart Cities’ Technology

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Often times the mention of ‘Smart Cities’ turns people off and adoption of these systems might seem inaccessible to mid-size and small cities. However, there are many ways that mid-size and small cities can utilize these technologies to make their city operations more efficient, save money, and make more educated and data driven decisions. This session will explore some of the interesting things that mid-sized and small cities are doing to incorporate Smart Cities systems into their operations.

 

1:30 PM - 3:00 PM

Making New Development Into a Win for All of Your Community

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No city can afford to take a back seat to its own development. City leaders must figure out now how they will provide the affordable homes, transportation, jobs, infrastructure and services to support their current and future populations; they must leverage existing public assets to develop new ones; and they must find the right combinations of policy, programs, and leadership practices that work for their cities. Getting urban development right is the key to creating a vibrant market for ideas that translates into innovations by entrepreneurs and investors. Learn how to take an active role in negotiating new development and get familiar with tools that can help you shape development to meet your policy goals.

1:30 PM - 3:00 PM

Taking Action to Improve Economic Mobility and Opportunity

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The city leaders featured in this panel are committed to reducing economic inequities and their negative impacts on families. They will share effective strategies to reduce income inequality through developing city-wide plans, engaging community partners, and implementing programs and services that connect families to economic opportunities. NLC will also share highlights from a scan of cities engaged in economic opportunity efforts.

 

1:30 PM - 3:00 PM

The Next Recession: Planning Begins Now

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Get three different fiscal tools you can use to minimize exposure to economic downturns: stress testing, incentive based budgeting, and rainy day funds. You'll understand how stress testing works to evaluate your community's reactions to different financial situations, a savings plan for emergencies, how your community can be more financially self-sufficient. Start planning for the next recession now in this essential workshop for city leaders of all types.

3:30 PM - 5:00 PM

Big Ideas for Small Cities

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Following the success of the Big Ideas for Small Cities event in March 2015, NLC is hosting a third event this November. The Big Ideas for Small Cities session will showcase prominent leaders from small cities who will share one compelling and creative idea that made a dramatic difference to the future of their community. These quick, fascinating talks will inspire you to think big for your small city.

You’ll hear from municipal leaders – both elected and staff – who have introduced out-of-the-box programs to their communities, with limited resources.

No pre-registration required; seating is first come, first served.

3:30 PM - 5:00 PM

Building Trust Among Police and Racially Diverse Communities (Follow-up Conversation to Opening General Session)

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Mayor Bell of Birmingham and racial equity content expert Julie Nelson will serve as a panel of experts to facilitate discussion with local elected officials about programs, policies, practices that are working in their communities to rebuild trust between police and communities of color.

To advance the discussion, attendees at the first general session will be asked to complete a brief questionnaire. The questionnaire will focus on:

  • What is your city doing to build trust between communities of color and law enforcement?
  • How is this connected to any broader city efforts on racial equity?
  • What is the impact so far?
  • Lessons learned? Key challenges?

The responses will be collected by NLC staff at the end of the first general session.  The panel will then select several responses to explore in greater detail during the workshop and engage with the audience to determine if these activities can help other cities that are working to build trust among police and racially diverse communities.

3:30 PM - 5:00 PM

CARE Documentary: Quality Home Healthcare and Dignity for All

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At the heart of this film is a focus on the question of how we care better for our elders and those who devote themselves to maintaining the dignity of our aging family members. CARE tracks the lives of those needing round-the-clock assistance as well as those doing the caring – jobs which do not even earn a living wage. The stories reveal the deep humanity and poignancy of care work as well as the challenges and frustrations faced by elders, their families and care workers.

3:30 PM - 5:00 PM

Culture Shift: Improving Health of Kids and Families

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What is your role in ensuring the overall health and well-being of your city? This workshop will explore how mayors and city councilmembers can create healthier communities where children and families live, learn, work and play. Participants will hear examples from city leaders and subject matter experts on the links between health, planning and transportation through examples from NLC's Connecting Kids to Nature and Culture of Health initiatives.

 

3:30 PM - 5:00 PM

My Brother’s Keeper Post-Obama: Strategies to Advance Outcomes for Boys and Men of Color

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Due to the election of President Obama and driven by his leadership, the focus on boys and men of color has increased significantly in cities across the country through the My Brother’s Keeper (MBK) Community Challenge. Now in the final month of the President’s term, he has made clear his commitment to continue to support MBK beyond his administration. Many cities are looking to better understand options, strategies and resources to sustain and adapt their local MBK or other boys and men of color initiatives locally in a post-Obama administration world. This session will help city leaders to consider potential next steps and provide actionable strategies for sustaining and adapting their boys and men of color agenda.

3:30 PM - 5:00 PM

Pittsburgh 3.0: Leveraging Innovative Programs, Practices and Policies to Create a Leading Resilient City

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2016 is a milestone year for the City of Pittsburgh. With Mayor William Peduto’s COP 21 climate commitments, the expansion of the p4 Initiative (People, Planet, Place, and Performance), our designation by the Rockefeller Foundation as one of the 100 Most Resilient Cities, and the renewed regional interest in our updated Pittsburgh Climate Action Plan, Pittsburgh continues to drive innovation and transformation via significant sustainability endeavors. These steps forward reflect the massive potential of community partnerships when aligned with civic leadership anchored in sustainability.

Panelists will showcase the value of strong partnerships through their insights related to the design and implementation of several strategic programs and platforms:

• The City of Pittsburgh’s Resiliency Assessment and the Pittsburgh Climate Action Plan
• Pittsburgh 2030 District
• The Green Workplace Challenge

Participants will have the opportunity to assess and discuss how these unique programs can be replicated in their own communities to move the needle on their own resiliency planning efforts.

3:30 PM - 5:00 PM

Politics of Public Sector Pensions

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After recent GASB changes, city pensions’ unfunded liabilities have taken far greater prominence in financial statements. Given the key role pensions play in public sector compensation, city leaders need to know how these plans affect the bottom line in terms of cost as well as recruiting and retaining a skilled workforce. No matter if your city or state manages retirement benefits, this session will cover the basics every elected official should know – including your role and the questions you should ask those administering these funds. The session will also cover retiree healthcare options (OPEB) and potential for savings and reform.

3:30 PM - 5:00 PM

Rebuild San Diego: How a deteriorating city prioritized infrastructure

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"Rebuild San Diego" is an effort to combat decades of neglect by prioritizing infrastructure spending and changing the way America's Finest City tackles its infrastructure issues. From the creation of a committee wholly focused on the issue to spearheading a ballot measure to secure a dedicated funding stream for infrastructure, Councilman Mark Kersey will explain how San Diego is finally making crumbling streets, broken sidewalks and forgotten about buildings a priority. With a national infrastructure backlog in the trillions, cities across the nation can learn how to get creative in dealing with the crisis-level issue.

 

3:30 PM - 5:00 PM

Startups and Cities Innovating Together

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More and more often, local governments and startups are innovating together in mutually beneficial ways. Startups and entrepreneurs can partner with local governments test and refine their products, while also working side-by-side with city departments to tackle civic issues. At the same time, proactive programs connecting disadvantaged youth to high-tech skills diversify the pipeline of future entrepreneurs. This session will explore how cities and startups can work together to create more inclusive and innovative ecosystems.

3:30 PM - 5:00 PM

The Double Edged Sword: How Cities Can Protect Themselves in an Era of Big Data

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Every city is vulnerable to cyber security attacks. Even if you don’t perceive your city as being a repository for big data, there is a likelihood that you have all different types of potentially vulnerable data. This workshop will explore the cyber security challenges inherent in data collection generally, the pressure put on cities to engage in the ‘Big Data’ game, and the parallel need to protect that sensitive data from cyber-threats.

 

3:30 PM - 5:00 PM

The New Main Street, USA

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Across the U.S., communities have aspirations to become more economically vibrant, equitable and sustainable places. However, while there is little debate that vibrant mixed-use communities with viable alternatives to driving are desirable assets for revitalizing downtown environments, few communities have found the package of investments or policy interventions that can turn outdated retail and auto-dominated strips into corridors that truly serve their communities. How can these corridors be transformed to become safe, healthy, vibrant, mixed-use places with next-generation infrastructure? Learn how commercial corridors can be redeveloped to make them a more productive part of your economy.