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S.J. Quinney College of Law drew national attention when it celebrated the grand opening of its new LEED Platinum building earlier this year, held up as a model of green architecture.

By Melinda Rogers

The University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law drew national attention when it celebrated the grand opening of its new LEED Platinum building earlier this year, held up as a model of green architecture.

How communities can make smarter choices when it comes to creating sustainable and resilient buildings is a topic of conversation that continues to be in the national spotlight — one reason the College of Law’s 21st Annual Stegner Center Symposium, “Green Infrastructure, Resilient Cities: New Challenges, New Solutions,” will focus on the issue on March 31 and April 1.

The event will address new urbanism and explore ideas such as urban design, green architecture, water usage (including reuse of waste water and storm water), the suburban-urban interface (including regional transportation, food sheds and air quality), energy usage in cities and how to plan for climate change to create resilient cities. Throughout the symposium, speakers will focus on how these issues relate to the Wasatch Front and Utah.

Along with the symposium, the Stegner Center will host the Wallace Stegner Lecture, given by Larry Susskind, at noon on March 30 at 12:15 p.m. on the sixth floor of the law school in the moot courtroom, 383 South University Street.

Susskind is the Ford Professor of Urban and Environmental Planning at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the founder and chief knowledge officer of the Consensus Building Institute. He has served on the faculty of MIT for over 35 years. His past work includes efforts to mediate Bedouin land claims in the southern desert of Israel. He has been involved in a wide range of initiatives to address the land claims of First Nations in Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the United States.

The Stegner Lecture is open to the public. To register for other parts of the symposium, click here.

Symposium agenda

Thursday, March 31, 2016
8 a.m. – Registration and continental breakfast
9 a.m. – Welcome and introductions
9:10 a.m. – Rethinking Buildings

Thomas Butcavage, Smith GroupJJR
Nicole DeNamur, Pacifica Law Group
Chris Duerksen, Clarion Associates LLC

10:30 a.m. – Break
10:55 a.m. – Rethinking Urban Design

Rob Bennett, EcoDistricts
Rocky Piro, Colorado Center for Sustainable Urbanism
Jonathan Rosenbloom, Drake University Law School

12:15 p.m. – Lunch
1:15 p.m. – Rethinking Water in Cities

Tony Arnold, University of Louisville Louis D. Brandeis School of Law
Stacey Eriksen, EPA Region 8
Eric Millis, Utah Division of Water Resources

2:35 p.m. – Break
3 p.m. – Keynote address – Community Food Systems and Regional Resilience

Sheila Martin, Institute of Metropolitan Studies, Portland State University

3:40 p.m. – Rethinking Energy for Cities

Alexandra Aznar, National Renewable Energy Laboratory
Sara Bronin, Center for Energy & Environmental Law, University of Connecticut School of Law
Troy Rule, Arizona State University Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law

5 p.m. Conclude

Friday, April 1, 2016

8:30 a.m. – Continental breakfast
9 a.m. – Rethinking the Urban-Suburban Interface

Robert Cervero, Department of City and Regional Planning, University California, Berkeley
Reid Ewing, Metropolitan Research Center, University of Utah
Kellen Zale, University of Houston Law Center

10:20 a.m. – Break
10:45 a.m. – Keynote address – “Future-Proofing” Infrastructure: Action Items for the Anthropocene

Hillary Brown, City College of New York, CUNY

11:25 a.m. – Incorporating Resilience – to Drought, Disaster, and Climate Change

Melissa M. Berry, Chapman University
Stephen R. Miller, University of Idaho College of Law – Boise
Hari Osofsky, Energy Transition Lab, University of Minnesota Law School


Melinda Rogers is a communications specialist at University Marketing and Communications. If you have an interesting story idea, email her at