Reconnecting America People * Places * Possibility

Reconnecting America At New Partners For Smart Growth Conference

Reconnecting America Policy Director Sarah Kline and Program Associate Bill Sadler will be participating in the 12th Annual New Partners for Smart Growth Conference Feb. 6-10 in Kansas City, MO.

Kline will be presenting Reconnecting America's report, "Putting Transit to Work in Main Street America," at a session entitled “Born in a Small Town: Transportation Success Stories from Rural America” on Feb. 7. Small city and rural America has public transportation needs that are just as compelling as those in big cities. Aging populations, young people, disabled citizens, working families and other people who want transportation choices are working together as never before to make public transportation happen. Federal and state government resources have become available for small-town and rural transit, and communities are leveraging this investment to great success. Kline will be among panelists discussing small city and rural transit success stories from around the country, with an emphasis on why and how success happened so that the lessons learned can be applied in other communities.

Sadler will be participating ina pre-conference session on Sustainable Neighborhoods, Thriving Residents: Strategies for Building Equitable Communities on Feb. 6. This workshop will explore how low-income, minority, tribal, and other overburdened communities are integrating land use and economic development strategies to renew their neighborhoods and build residents’ skills and wealth. Representatives from community-based organizations, local and regional planners, economic developers, and businesses will share how they’re working together to address health and environmental concerns, provide more housing and transportation options, promote wellness, increase access to opportunities, train workers, support local businesses, build on community assets, and develop strategies for growth that uplifts all residents. Interactive training sessions will teach participants about tools and approaches that integrate land use and economic and workforce development to revitalize underserved communities. The event will conclude with reflections by federal and other leaders on how their organizations will support equitable development in the year ahead.

The three-day conference includes nearly 100 sessions, tours, networking activities, special events and specialized trainings and workshops. It will also include continuing education credits for several disciplines (including landscape architects, architects, AICP planners, and attorneys).

An interactive online engagement platform has also been created in conjunction with the conference, created and sponsored by MindMixer. is powered by the ideas of engaged people from across the nation, and will provide forum for communities to share their success stories of overcoming challenges, implementing smart growth practices and creating more sustainable, equitable, and prosperous communities, now and into the future. While this tool is connected to the New Partners Conference, anyone interested in sustainable communities can participate, share and be part of this online conversation.

The registration deadline is Jan. 18. Visit the conference web site at to register, get more program and event details, and information on making hotel reservations.