Rail~Volution Denver 2017 Is Looking for Speakers

Image: TwoHundrend and Kimley Horn
Image: TwoHundrend and Kimley Horn

Every year more than 1,000 transportation professionals, urban planners, housing and health advocates, and elected officials converge on an American city to talk shop about how to build better communities through transit, walking, and biking.

It’s called Rail~Volution and from September 17 – 20, it’s Denver’s turn to host. The conference is calling for speakers now.

I was lucky enough to go last year, in the Bay Area, and can tell you it’s a dream for anyone interested in creating better cities for people. Fascinating speeches from urban planning leaders were followed by talks about why health has to be a top consideration for cities when thinking about their built environment and transportation networks. Mobile tours — on bike, foot, train, or streetcar — showed off what the area is doing well and what it needs to do better. I dropped in on a live recording of the Overhead Wire podcast and watched some entertaining Pecha Kucha presentations over drinks when the sun went down.

More on this year’s conference, which is themed, “Moving forward leaving no one behind. Pushing the limits and adapting to rapid change,” from the Rail~Volution website:

Rail~Volution has not been to Denver since 2000 and the progress the region has made in that time is something to envy. After opening three rapid transit lines in 2016 with two more on the way, the region is focused on the next big thing as a bunch of little things. How can the region continue to keep equity and sustainability in the forefront? How does the region leverage its infrastructure investment to help with national and global competitiveness? How is the region planning for community mobility in the future?  Finally, how can the region balance and move forward with all these goals in the face of rapid population growth?

As a region that works hard and plays hard, Denver will provide attendees with opportunities to learn about new transit and development projects as well as travel the region to explore lessons learned and best practices.

Topics will span cities and towns across the country, but local organizers want to make sure Denver’s story — successes and failures — gets told. Anyone can apply, but check out the parameters for talks or a panel discussions, and submit your ideas by February 23.