CSB/SJU Hosts Spring Policy Forum on “Metropolitan Growth: Debating the Good Life”

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March 6, 2006

The Public Policy Learning Community at the College of Saint Benedict, St. Joseph, and Saint John’s University, Collegeville, sponsors its annual Spring Policy Forum at 7 p.m. Wednesday, March 29 at the Stephen B. Humphrey Auditorium on the SJU campus.

The topic of this year’s event is, “Metropolitan Growth: Debating the Good Life.”

A four-person panel will discuss the increasingly important issues of land use, housing and transportation, and look at the questions, “How do we grow?” and “Where do we go?”

“This panel brings together nationally-known experts with diverse viewpoints on the best ways to respond to a myriad of public policy issues facing our growing metropolitan areas,” said Matt Lindstrom, associate professor of political science at CSB/SJU and director of the PPLC. “Covering ecology, economics and ethics, the panel is sure to be both informative and entertaining.”

The panel consists of:

  • Karen Anderson, mayor of Minnetonka, Minn., from 1994-2005, and a past president of the National League of Cities (2001-02). She completed a term as president of the League of Minnesota Cities in 1996, and served for eight years as a Minnetonka council member at-large;
  • Joel Kotkin, an Irvine Senior Fellow at the New America Foundation, and the author of number of books on cities and urban growth, including “The City: A Global History” and “The New Geography, How the Digital Revolution is Reshaping the American Landscape”;
  • Parris Glendening, executive director of the Smart Growth Leadership Institute (SGLI) and the former governor of Maryland (1995-2003). The SGLI was created by Glendening to help state and local elected, civic and business leaders design and implement effective smart growth strategies.
  • Randal O’Toole, an economist who has been director of the Oregon-based Thoreau Institute since 1975, and an adjunct scholar at the Cato Institute since 1995. His recent research and policy interests have centered on regional planning and growth management in Portland, Ore., and more recently, on the New Urbanism. His publication, “The Vanishing Automobile and Other Urban Myths,” is a critical appraisal of growth management and regional planning in Portland.

The panel will be moderated by Ernie Diedrich, professor of economics and environmental studies at CSB/SJU. He has been a member of the faculty since 1980, and is known for his intellectual and social interest in environmental economics.

Diedrich co-founded the schools’ environmental studies program, and has served in a variety of leadership roles in non-profits, such as the Minnesota League of Conservation Voters, the Minnesota Project and, most recently, the Avon Hills Initiative.

The event is free and open to the public.