Wednesday, May 25, 2016

3 Reasons to Attend LURN’s “Disrupting the City” event on June 10th

This blog was written by Rudy Espinoza and cross-posted on the Leadership for Urban Renewal Network (LURN) blog. Rudy is Executive Director of LURN and an Advisory Board Member of Investing in Place.

Sometimes I feel like I don’t have time to think; to relax a bit and think creatively about the problems we’re trying to address. Do you ever feel like that?

Every year, LURN organizes an event called the Planning and Land-Use Strategies Summit (PLUS2). It’s an opportunity for practitioners in the field to take a break in order to hear about the work of leaders in our field. We like to keep the presentations short, leave room for discussion, and have a good time.

This year, the theme of our summit is “Disrupting The City.” We’re interested in examining all the disruptions taking place in cities whether they’re in architecture, transportation, economic development or food.

Here are three reasons why you should consider attending:

    1. The speakers are top notch. We have an amazing line-up of speakers who are disrupting the way we build communities. This year, we’re lucky enough to hear from folks like the radical artist Umberto Crenca, who’s AS220 helped create a space for local artists to live and work in Providence amid the area’s revitalization; Maurice Lim Miller, the MacArthur Genius Fellow, who will be sharing his work to invest in the resiliency of low-income families as way to build wealth; a diverse panel of transportation leaders like Kellyn Blossom from Uber and Maryann Aguirre from Multicultural Communities for Mobility; and Tatiana Bilbao, the celebrated architect from Mexico City who has a vision for how we can design and build housing for low-income families.
    2. The audience is awesome. Just as important as the speakers, are our guests. We do our best to make sure that a diverse array of change agents are there to make sure our discussions are fruitful and our coffee, lunch and happy hour sessions are full of connections. PLUS2 will be a great space to connect.
    3. Happy hour! Yes, we’ll have drinks together after. For guests that register, we’ll also be providing lunch courtesy of Whole Foods, and one of our featured speakers, “East LA Raider Dave,” will be offering his crowd pleasing BBQ for those who stay to grab a drink with us after. Not a bad way to start your weekend, right?

But in all seriousness, and probably the most important reason we should gather in spaces like this is to think outside the box. At LURN (and Investing in Place), we often feel that the tools we’re using to solve poverty, build equitable transportation systems, design housing, and create community-centric policies are frankly not enough. We have to think differently about how we approach community development, and sometimes the best work is inspired by an interesting talk, a colleague’s inspiring comments, or an epiphany over a beer.

We hope you can join us! We’re asking for a suggested donation to help LURN produce the event and support our work, but no one will be turned away for lack of funds (just email us at so we can help you register).

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