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Recovering and Revitalizing Suburbs

Revitalizing the Suburbs is Topic of UC Riverside Conference Jan. 25

The Blakely Center for Sustainable Suburban Development Takes on Livable Suburbs from Riverside to New Orleans and Beyond

(January 13, 2007)

Ed BlakelyEnlarge

Ed Blakely

RIVERSIDE, Calif. ( Efforts to revitalize post World War II suburbs is the theme of this year’s Conference on the Suburbs, set for Thursday, Jan. 25 at the Mission Inn. The conference is sponsored by UC Riverside’s Edward J. Blakely Center for Sustainable Suburban Development.

The topic is especially relevant because the center’s namesake, Edward J. Blakely, will start work Monday, Jan. 8 in New Orleans as the Executive Director for Recovery Management for the City of New Orleans. Blakely, who grew up in San Bernardino and graduated from UCR, will offer the introduction at the conference and said he will be ready to for questions about his new responsibilities shaping a post-Katrina New Orleans.

The conference, scheduled from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., will focus on the strategies and innovations being used in Southern California and across the nation to redevelop older suburbs — often into pedestrian friendly, transit-accessible urban villages. Many of these innovations are being used in Inland area cities to revitalize aging downtowns or transform other older development.

Joel Kotkin, an Irvine Senior Fellow at the New America Foundation, will be the conference’s luncheon speaker. Kotkin, an internationally known authority on global, economic, political and social trends, will speak on “Lessons for Planning Suburbs.”

Panelists include policy makers, academics and private sector practitioners who will discuss: The Suburban Downtown; Mobility and Access; and Transforming Brownfields. Brownfields are commercial sites that have been contaminated and need to be cleaned and revitalized.

Conference co-hosts are the Inland Empire District Council of the Urban Land Institute, the Western Riverside County Regional Conservation Authority and the County of San Bernardino Economic Development Agency.

Those interested in attending the conference can register on the Center’s website at, and following the conference registration link, or call 951-827-7830. The registration fee is $125 until January 14; $150 after January 14.

The Edward J. Blakely Center for Sustainable Suburban Development was established at UC Riverside in 2003 to provide research and analysis with a policy focus on the wide range of issues the suburbs confront, here locally and elsewhere. The suburbs touch on all aspects of human experience — from interactions with native species, through the planning of communities that meet all human needs, to the questions of how to govern and finance communities. The challenge is to plan and direct that development to make communities livable now and sustainable for the future.

The University of California, Riverside ( is a doctoral research university, a living laboratory for groundbreaking exploration of issues critical to Inland Southern California, the state and communities around the world. Reflecting California's diverse culture, UCR's enrollment has exceeded 21,000 students. The campus opened a medical school in 2013 and has reached the heart of the Coachella Valley by way of the UCR Palm Desert Center. The campus has an annual statewide economic impact of more than $1 billion.

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