Future Of Small Cities Institute Releases Sustainable Futures Video Database
Online database will feature sessions from key environmental leaders, decision makers, and elected officials focused on how sustainability, resilience affects all aspects of civic life
ALBANY and TROY, N.Y. — The Future of Small Cities Institute, founded in 2020 by award-winning author Reif Larsen, has released a searchable video database created from their virtual event, The Sustainable Futures Conference. The database features all 77 sessions from the conference and will serve as a robust resource as the region continues to meet the decarbonization goals outlined in New York’s landmark 2019 Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA).
“This database is the lasting legacy of the Sustainable Futures Conference,” said Mr. Larsen. “The conference itself was a bit of whirlwind and it was impossible to attend all the simultaneous sessions. I think that energy was useful in the moment but this database allows people to go back and process all of the sessions in their own time, as new projects unfold. I think it’s particularly important that the database is indexed and searchable, so you can really customize your engagement experience.”
The Sustainable Futures Conference, held from April 27 to April 30, 2021 was co-hosted by the University at Albany and the Center for Architecture Science and Ecology (CASE) at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and featured over 16 keynote speakers including:
Andrew Fanning from the Doughnut Economics Action Lab in the United Kingdom; Leah Penniman from Soul Fire Farm; Enrique Peñalosa, former mayor of Bogotá, Colombia; Assemblymember Patricia A. Fahy; Albany Mayor Kathy M. Sheehan; U.S. Rep. Paul D. Tonko; Katarina Thorstensson, head of sustainability at Goteburg & Co. in Sweden; and more.
The new video database will include all keynote sessions, breakout sessions, and Innovation Salon presentations. As a collective, these sessions reinforce the idea that sustainability and resilience are multi-sector issues woven into all aspects of civic life, including economic development, housing, health, recreation, design, community engagement, justice, urban ecology, education, and equity. “If we are going to solve climate change and create a sustainable region that leverages a green economy, then it’s all hands on deck,” said Mr. Larsen. “Institutions must collaborate and partner with one another as UAlbany and RPI have done for this conference. We must innovate together.”
The Future of Small Cities Institute cultivates resilient communities by offering just and sustainable solutions for small metro areas. They foster community and regional partnerships, produce publications, and host dynamic event series.
For more information about the new database or The Sustainable Futures Conference, please visit sustainablefuturesconference.com.
About the Future of Small Cities Institute: The Future of Small Cities Institute cultivates resilient communities by offering just and sustainable solutions for small and mid-sized metro areas. They do this by fostering local community partnerships and a regional city network, producing cross-platform resources and publications, hosting a dynamic urbanism event series, and by building a tangible knowledgebase of best practices for small cities.
The Future of Small Cities Institute found its roots in the Troy Innovation Garage, which was the site of the Future of Small Cities 2019–2020 event series and master class. The community space of the Garage provided fertile ground to conceptualize the series, nurture the networks, and eventually blossom the work into this institute. Building upon this spirit of innovation, the institute provides programming and a conceptual laboratory space to grapple with this question holistically by bringing people together from a wide variety of disciplines, including community members, business owners, artists, developers, academics, city planners, architects, elected officials, activists, and scientists.