Downtown San Antonio viewed from UTSA Downtown Campus

Great Cities Dialogue series continues April 8

By James M. Benavides
Public Affairs Specialist

(March 30, 2009)--UTSA's College of Public Policy will continue its Great Cities Dialogue series April 8 with a half-day gathering of city and regional leaders in land development, urban and regional planning, conservation and architecture to discuss the history of natural resource conservation in San Antonio, its current status and projections for the future.

>> View a video on the Great Cities Dialogue series.

Free and open to the public, but limited to 100 seats, the Great Cities Dialogue is 7:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m., Wednesday, April 8 at the Durango Building Southwest Room (1.124) on the UTSA Downtown Campus. Breakfast will be provided. Guests are encouraged to pre-register by calling (210) 458-2715.

"Public Policy and San Antonio's Urban Landscape: Sustaining our Natural Heritage" will be presented as a two-panel discussion with ample time for audience participation. Subjects will include natural resources such as water, trees, open spaces, and "heritage lands" such as farms and ranches. Conference proceedings will be published on the UTSA College of Public Policy Web site.

"This conference provides the opportunity for people representing a broad variety of perspectives, professions and concerns to engage in a constructive dialogue," said Francine Romero, conference coordinator and UTSA associate professor of public administration.

The first panel focuses on San Antonio's history and benchmarks in conservation and includes Allison Elder, attorney and counselor for Braun & Associates; Howard Peak, former mayor and executive director for state and local government affairs at AT&T; Richard Perez, former city councilman and president and CEO of the Greater San Antonio Chamber of Commerce; and Robert R. Puente, president and CEO of San Antonio Water System.

The second panel focuses on future conservation policies. Panelists will offer their assessments on acquisition, incentives and regulatory options mediating resource protection versus private property rights. Panelists include Paul Barwick, ASLA, senior planner with the City of Boerne; attorney Daniel Ortiz of Brown & Ortiz, P.C.; Annalisa Peace, executive director of the Greater Edwards Aquifer Alliance; and Roderick Sanchez, director of the Planning and Development Services Department for the City of San Antonio.

Also participating in the dialogue are former San Antonio city councilwoman Bonnie Conner, chair of Voelcker Park Conservancy and vice-chair of parks projects for the San Antonio Parks Foundation; Frederick Steiner, dean of the School of Architecture and Henry M. Rockwell Chair in Architecture at the University of Texas at Austin; David R. Johnson, UTSA vice provost for academic and faculty support; and Jeff Coyle, public affairs manager for KGBTexas Public Relations.

>> Downlod the conference flier at the UTSA College of Public Policy Web site.

For more information, call (210) 458-2715.

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