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Upstate Forever joined forces with Ten at the Top, Furman's Riley Institute, the Greater Greenville Association of Realtors, and the Upstate SC Alliance to present the 2015 Shaping Our Future Speaker Series. The purpose of the series was to help elected leaders better understand the impact of land use policies on transportation choices, municipal and county budgets, housing options, and the health of our air and water.
Former Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell, the current co-chair of Building America’s Future, provided insight into why communities must overcome their failure to act and begin investing more wisely in robust transportation systems, including public transportation.
Greg DiLoreto from the American Society of Civil Engineers provided excellent insights into the consequences if we fail to invest in our infrastructure as well as examples of communities that have seen great benefits from local infrastructure investments.
Joe Minicozzi, real estate developer and principal at Urban3 consulting firm in Asheville, shared eye-opening data regarding the tax revenue production of varying development patterns and resulting impact on municipal and county budgets.
Economist Rob Dietz of the National Association of Homebuilders shared the results of a recent national poll regarding home-buying preferences with a focus on the millennial generation.
Greenwood City Manager Charlie Barrineau reported on the successful investments his city has made in its Uptown.
Ed McMahon, fellow at the Urban Land Institute, discussed the “economics of uniqueness” and how successful communities distinguish themselves from others through deliberate planning and policy. Other speakers were Jennifer Tinsley of the Lower Savannah Council of Governments and Mayor Frank Crenshaw of Pendleton.
Jessica Sargent, Director of Conservation Economics from the Trust for Public Land, presented on The Economic Benefits of Open Space. Other speakers were Jason Armstrong of Patrick Square traditional neighborhood development in Clemson and Chris Jennings of the Spartanburg Convention and Visitors Bureau.