Skip Navigation

University of Oklahoma’s Institute for Quality Communities to Host Placemaking Conference

OU Public Affairs Website
OU homepage Public Affairs homepage
Skip Side Navigation

University of Oklahoma’s Institute for Quality Communities to Host Placemaking Conference

IQC 2015 Keynote Speakers




NORMAN – Experts on designing livable and healthy communities, large and small, will headline the University of Oklahoma Institute for Quality Communities’ Placemaking Conference Monday, March 23, on the OU Norman campus. The conference targets city planners and developers as well as mayors and city councils across the state to collaborate and engage the public in an effort to enhance Oklahoma communities.

“Our lives are greatly impacted by the quality of the communities in which we live,” said OU President David L. Boren. “They give us a sense of place and help build the bonds that bind us together. This conference brings to Oklahoma a group of national experts who can help us build better home communities, large and small.”

Featured speakers at the luncheon and dinner sessions, respectively, will be:

  • Gil Peñalosa, founder of 8-80 Cities, a Canadian-based nonprofit organization dedicated to contributing to the transformation of cities into places where people can walk, bike, access public transit and visit vibrant parks and public places. His talk, “Cities for All Ages,” reflects his passion for advising decision makers and communities on how to create vibrant cities and health communities for everyone regardless of age or social status – specifically, the design and use of parks and streets as great public places, as well as sustainable mobility: walking, cycling and public transit.
  • Carol Coletta, vice president of community and national initiatives at the Knight Foundation, a nonprofit that supports transformational ideas that promote quality journalism, advance media innovation, engage communities and foster the arts. The foundation also promotes the idea that democracy thrives when people and communities are informed and engaged. She will give the dinner keynote address on “Innovative Placemaking.” In addition to serving as vice president of community and national initiatives at the Knight Foundation, Coletta has written and spoken extensively on the future of cities, including how communities develop, attract and retain talent. 

“This event will serve as a catalyst for the creation of communities that meet the needs of this generation as well as a rich built environment that will be a legacy for generations to come,” said Ian Carlton, director of the Institute for Quality Communities.

Peñalosa and Coletta will be joined by eight industry leaders from across the country who will share their perspectives on improving community planning, design and governance during the daylong conference. The Placemaking Conference will begin at 9 a.m. in Paul F. Sharp Concert Hall. A welcome will be offered by Boren, and Carlton will offer opening remarks. Charles Graham, dean of the OU College of Architecture, will introduce the first session.

In addition to Peñalosa and Coletta, speakers and topics are:

  • Mariela Alfonzo, president of Urban Imprint, “Defining Great Places”
  • Charles Marohn, president and co-founder of Strong Towns, “Fiscally Strong Towns”
  • Karen Lee, M.D., Global Health + Environment Advisor, “Active Design for Healthy Places.”
  • Jeffrey Tumlin, owner and director of strategy at Nelson\Nygaard Consulting Associates, “Parking in Livable Communities”
  • Vincent LoVoi, managing partner of Mimosa Tree Capital Partners LLC, “Place-Based Investment”
  • Tom Murphy, senior resident fellow at the Urban Land Institute and former mayor of Pittsburgh, “Anchoring Quality Communities”
  • Tripp Muldrow, principal in the firm Arnett Muldrow & Associates, “Branding Communities”
  • Candy Chang, an artist, designer and urban planner, “Transforming Our Cities through Art and Design”

Founded in 2008 in the OU College of Architecture, the Institute for Quality Communities provides community design and development assistance to Oklahoma towns and cities.

The morning and afternoon sessions will be held in the Paul F. Sharp Concert Hall in Catlett Music Center, 500 W. Boyd St. The lunch and dinner talks will be held in Oklahoma Memorial Union, 900 Asp Ave. Reservations are required for the lunch and dinner talks. Buses will be available to transport conference attendees to and from Catlett Music Center and Oklahoma Memorial Union.

For reservations to any of these events, more information and accommodations on the basis of disability, please call the OU Office of Public Affairs at (405) 325-3784 or email For information on the Institute for Quality Communities and a complete schedule of events, please visit

News Archives

2018  | 2017  | 2016  | 2015  |  2014 


For requests for past releases, please contact OU Public Affairs at (405) 325-1701 or