2015 Rocky Mountain CitySummit
Bill Strickland, president and CEO of Manchester Bidwell Corporation and author of Make the Impossible Possible, emphasized the need to create partnerships that drive inclusivity. The Downtown Denver Partnership brought together nearly 650 city builders at the fifth annual Rocky Mountain CitySummit on April 23, 2015. A panel moderated by Deborah Cullinan, executive director of the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, showcased how revitalizing public spaces can have a profound impact on social and economic issues facing communities. Panelists included Brad Buchanan, executive director of Denver Community Planning and Development, Joe Cortright, president and principal economist at Impresa Inc., and Jeff Risom, managing director of Gehl Studio and partner at Gehl Architects. Denver Mayor Michael B. Hancock highlighted the unique spirit of the Rocky Mountain West and stressed that the region should continue to “lead by example” through innovation, while continually learning from each other to “keep getting better.” Shawn Micallef, columnist at the Toronto Star and author, showcased how “city air makes you free” and that subtle changes and details can transform downtowns. Minor Disturbance shared their original “Denver” poem in The Inclusive City roundtable prior to performing for all attendees in the closing session. Jeff Speck, author of Walkable City: How Downtown Can Save America, One Step at a Time, advocated for walkable cities as a critical component of safety, smart growth and sustainable design. David Eves, 2015 Rocky Mountain CitySummit chair and president, Public Service Company of Colorado (an Xcel energy company) Amy Liu, senior fellow and co-director of the Brookings Metropolitan Policy Program at the Brookings Institution, emphasized that cities can compete globally by growing the base of existing industries that will in turn support job growth.