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Green Urbanism

The Sustainable Antidote to Sprawl

Was the most successful Symposium yet!

Check out these Green Urbanism Videos:

Read documents from the Green Urbanism Symposium

Part 1 of 4 Part 3 of 4 Rex Burkholder's presentationRaw Notes: Harvest of Ideas from World Cafe Breakout Sessions
Part 2 of 4 Part 4 of 4 Registration Packet with Background Reading

*Thank You to Walt Jorgenson and Robert Whitlock for volunteer videography.

The Symposium was Held on...

Saturday Oct. 26, 2013   |    8:30am – 1:00pm

South Puget Sound Community College  |   LEED-Gold Natural Sciences Building

Download Event Flyer

Registration Packet, including Agenda, Map and Directions

With Rex Burkholder, Urbanist,

Former Councilor & Deputy President, Metro Regional Government, Portland Oregon
Founder, Bicycle Transportation Alliance of Oregon
Founder, Coalition for a Livable Future

More about Rex

We were also proud to welcome a distinguished panel of local environmental, development and neighborhood leaders, including:

(click panelist name to read his/her bio)

Protecting our air, water, forests and farms will be a major challenge as thousands of new residents come to Thurston County in the years ahead. Is there an effective win-win solution that enables our region to become healthier, greener and more resilient, while accommodating this growth?

We invite you to join us: Hear how Portland Metro and other regions have addressed this challenge with creativity and success.  Then engage a collaborative civic dialogue on what it will take to move forward on the draft Sustainable Thurston plan.

The presentations will set the stage for lively, generative “world café” breakout sessions to explore specific opportunities for a regional “compact” for sustainability, followed by a collective harvest of ideas and action plans.

Gather for a hearty, healthy breakfast at 8:30 am.

Program begins at 9:00 am.

Click Here to Register for the Green Urbanism Symposium


Speaker Bios

Rex Burkholder, Keynote Speaker

Trained as a biologist, Rex Burkholder worked as a science teacher and in the Northwestern forests. He started the bicycling revolution in Portland, Oregon as a founder and policy director of the Bicycle Transportation Alliance. An early leader in sustainability and equity, Burkholder also co-founded the Coalition for a Livable Future, bringing together over 100 diverse NGOs in the greater Portland region.

He was elected to the Metro Council in 2000, serving 12 years, where he led efforts to reform regional transportation policy and to integrate climate change into the decisions of all levels of government in Oregon. He has served on key task forces as well as national boards including Rail~volution and theAssociation of Metropolitan Planning Organizations read his acceptance speech here. Recipient of numerous local awards, his work has been recognized internationally as well, being invited to speak in countries throughout Latin America on sustainable transportation and climate change. He was honored in 2010 as a Global Ambassador for Ciclovia, an international movement to reclaim cities from the automobile.

Karen Messmer

Karen Messmer is Chair of Olympia Safe Streets Campaign, an advocacy organization dedicated to pedestrian and bicycle safety in Thurston County.  She has been engaged in community planning for over 30 years. She is currently a citizen representative on the Intercity Transit Authority Board.  She was a member of the Olympia City Council from 2006 to 2009. While on the Council she was the Olympia representative on the Intercity Transit Authority Board, the Regional Transportation Policy Board, Thurston Regional Planning Council and other inter-jurisdictional organizations.  Prior to her Council service, she was an Olympia Planning Commissioner for 11 years and served on the city's Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee, Bicycle Advisory Committee, and Design Review Board. Her day job is as an energy program manager with the Washington State University Energy Program. Before coming to Olympia for state government work, she was a planner at the Grays Harbor Regional Planning Council where she worked on land use, transit, economic development and shoreline planning projects.

Peter Guttchen

Everything Peter does is grounded in his strong belief in people’s capacity and desire to come together, be productive, and make a positive difference in the world. He moved to Olympia in 1988 to become the City’s first recycling coordinator. Since he left the City in 2000, he’s been active as a neighborhood organizer, working to engage Olympia residents in shaping the future of their community. He’s coordinated many neighborhood projects. These include murals, community gardens, street parties, and new parks, sidewalks, and trails. Together with other neighborhood leaders, Peter founded the Olympia Coalition of Neighborhood Associations in 2006 and served as its first chair. The Coalition is now a powerful collective voice for Olympia neighborhoods on issues ranging from sub-area planning to code enforcement.

Carole Richmond

Carole worked as an environmental and natural resources policy and research analyst for Washington state government for over 20 years. In that time, she worked on a variety of issues in several different agencies, including farmland protection, water system planning, salmon recovery, forest practices, prevention and remediation of sediment contamination, biodiversity protection, and payment-in-lieu-of-tax programs.  She also served as legislative committee staff for three years.

She is very pleased to have been appointed to the Olympia Planning Commission this year, where she hopes to help hasten the transition to sustainable urbanism. She has a BA in political science and an MS in Forest Resources.

Mark Kitabayashi

Mark is current President of Washington REALTORS. He was President of Thurston County Realtors in 2006 & 2010, Current Board of Directors for National Association of REALTORS. He is involved in Housing, Land Use related issues and projects on local, state, and national level.  Mark resides in Thurston County Washington where he has an active real estate practice in residential new construction, REO, and re-sale.  He also has a background in international marketing.  He has served in many different committee roles to advise our local city and county jurisdictions and departments, including a member of the Sustainable Thurston Housing Panel, and also as Past Chair of Citizen Advisory Committee for Thurston County Home Consortium, and a past member of the Low Impact Development (LID) Committee for Thurston County.   With his breadth of experience and understanding of homeless and low income housing issues, as well the local economic and regulatory challenges facing developers in our community, Mark brings different views and a vision for sustainability in Thurston County.

Click Here to Register for the Green Urbanism Symposium


Thank You to the visionary Sponsors of this Symposium!


Click Here to Register for the Green Urbanism Symposium


Suggested Resources

Creating Places - Preserving Spaces - Draft Plan for Regional Sustainable Development. By Thurston Regional Planning Council, Olympia, WA.

Thurston County Urban Corridors Task Force - August 30, 2011 WorkSession Record.  By Thurston Regional Planning Council, Olympia, WA

BERK Consultants Commercial Market Study -

BERK Presentation [both presentations can be found on-line at

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