WP|WS 2024

WPWS Poster 2024

Conference Program     |     Watch Keynote

Building Strong Communities: Lessons for the West

Communities across the Rocky Mountain West are experiencing the impacts of a warmer, dryer climate; are facing uncertainties about an economy shifting away from traditional industries and towards emerging technologies; and are anticipating the needs of a growing population that is older and more diverse than in the past. This "new normal" has the potential to be destabilizing, as we face increased risks of natural disasters and the dislocation associated with economic and demographic changes. Understanding these risks, however, we can also catalyze investments to build strong, resilient communities capable of adapting to, and thriving within the "new normal."

As we consider the challenges and opportunities ahead, we must explore ways to plan and develop communities that are prepared for the "new normal." Can we leverage federal investments to build the foundation for thriving communities? Can we address the high cost of living facing so many of our communities to ensure that we grow in ways that are inclusive and equitable, providing housing, access to jobs, and opportunity across the economic spectrum? Can we resist the pressure to build housing in marginal and hazardous places like floodplains and the wildland–urban interface, and mitigate the risks to those communities that are in the path of the next disaster? How do we manage increasingly scarce resources like water in ways that are equitable and fair? And what energy infrastructure do we need to power our future economy? Finally, can we Westerners adapt, culturally and politically, to the changing realities in our communities, and invest in the policy tools that could enhance our long-term resilience?

This year's conference will feature tracks focused on housing affordability and water in the West. You can also expect a variety of great sessions that offer practical solutions to updating zoning codes; that address hot topics in planning; that provide updates on the latest legal developments affecting land use and real estate; and that will help you meet your continuing education requirements.

And perhaps best of all, you can expect to network with an extraordinary group of thought leaders and practitioners who are working at the vanguard of planning and land use law to build a stronger, more equitable, and more resilient region.

Sponsorships make our offerings possible. If you are interested in sponsoring, contact Susan Daggett at RMLUI.