Conference Schedule


Get-Acquainted Dinner (optional pre-conference event)

Wednesday, January 24

7–9 PM Enjoy dinner and refreshments at the old St. Paul’s Episcopal Church built in 1909 and repurposed as a cultural events center in the charming Century Heights neighborhood.
Includes transportation – departing from Hilton Garden Inn.
  St.Paul's Church

Pre-Conference Field Trip Showcasing Yuma's Waterfront and the Colorado River (optional pre-conference event)

Thursday, January 25

8-5 PM Urban Waterfronts 2018 Registration, Pivot Point Conference Center.
8-9 AM Breakfast at the Pivot Point Conference Center.
Field Trip Schedule (Bus transport included).
9-10:30 AM Briefing and Walking Tour of Gateway Park and the Yuma East Wetlands, a 400-acre wetlands restoration which is considered a model for restoration in the desert Southwest.
10:30 AM-Noon Tour of the Yuma West Wetlands, a 110- acre riverfront park converted from the City’s landfill.
Noon-1 PM Lunch at the Pivot Point Conference Center.
1-4 PM Travel to and tour of the Imperial Dam, an engineering marvel where nearly 90% of the remaining water in the Colorado River is diverted, mostly to California.
  400acres-wetlands

Exhibitors’ Welcome Reception and Dinner

Thursday, January 25

5-6 PM Exhibitors’ Welcome Reception at the Pivot Point Conference Center.
6-6:15 PM Buses Depart Hilton Garden Inn.
6:15-8 PM Dinner at Yuma Territorial Prison State Historic Park that opened in 1875. You’ll be in for a memorable evening in a very historic and intriguing space.
Includes transportation-departing from Hilton Garden Inn.
8-8:15 PM Buses Return to Hilton Garden Inn.

Urban Waterfronts 2018:
33rd Annual International Conference on Urban Waterfront Planning, Development and Culture (All events at Pivot Point Conference Center)

(All educational conference sessions at Pivot Point Conference Center)

Friday, January 26

7:30-8:30 AM Registration and Continental Breakfast
8:30-8:45 AM Welcome, Water Ceremony
The Water Ceremony has become a conference tradition. Individuals, who have been asked to bring a small bottle of water from the rivers, lakes or bays that touch their cities, pour the water into a bowl to symbolize the waterfront community’s collective commitment to the health of the world’s waters as well as to sound waterfront planning and development practice. If you would like to join in the ceremony, please contact the Center or just bring your contribution.
8:45-9:45 AM Keynote Address: “The Years of Living Dangerously - Ebbs and Flows on the Colorado River"
Anne Castle, former assistant secretary for water and science, US Department of the Interior.
9:45-10:15 AM Coffee Break
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Concurrent Morning Sessions

10:15–12:15 PM  Panel A-1: The Colorado River: How Did We Get Here?
The panelists will provide a comprehensive overview of the development of the Colorado River in the 20th Century, including establishing legal rights to and allocation of  river water; the building of the dams; and the resulting environmental damage.
  • The Development and Damming of the River: A Yuma Historical Perspective:  Charles Flynn, executive director, Yuma Crossing National Heritage Area, Yuma, Arizona
  • The Dam Building Era: 1908 to 1968: Epic Accomplishments and Overreach: Jim Cherry, retired manager, Bureau of Reclamation, Yuma, Arizona
  • Unintended Consequences: Environmental Damage: Dr. John (Jack) Schmidt, formerly with United States Geological Survey and current Utah State professor of watershed sciences, Logan, Utah
10:15–12:15 PM  Panel B-1: Facing Water’s Challenges in Today’s World
While waterfronts have always faced a variety of weather-related challenges, they are also currently coping with a host of newer issues: sea level rise, hurricane, flooding and the imperative for more resilient, ecological solutions, better ways to treat the water’s edge and ensuring public access, among others.
  • Miami-Dade County Address Resiliency and Sea Level Rise: James Murley, Miami, Florida (invited)
  • The Restoration of Rockaway Beach Post Hurricane Sandy: Domenica A. Stasiak, project manager, CH2M, New York, New York
  • New York Non-Profit Takes on a Host of Issues – From Access to Education, From Marine Transport to Rising Water: Roland Lewis, executive director, Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance, New York, New York 
12:15-1:30 PM Conference Luncheon
1:30-2:30 PM Excellence on the Waterfront Awards: 1987 – 2017 A Thirty Year Retrospective
This unique, comprehensive visual overview of The Waterfront Center’s top honor award-winning projects and plans as chosen by interdisciplinary juries illustrates both the breadth of the types of work and the wide-ranging geography the program has encompassed. Fasten your seat belts for global adventure.
2:30-3 PM Coffee Break

Concurrent Afternoon Sessions

3–5 PM Panel A-2: Contemporary Issues: Mitigation, Restoration and Water Conservation
The panelists will provide diverse perspectives on the challenges and opportunities to heal and restore the Colorado River.
  • The Multi-Species Conservation Program: A Major Mitigation Effort: John Swett, program, manager, LCR Multi-Species Conservation Program, Bureau of Reclamation, Boulder City, Nevada
  • Healing the Entire River: A Broader Perspective: Dr. John (Jack) Schmidt, formerly with United States Geological Survey and current Utah State professor of watershed sciences, Logan, Utah
  • Community-Based Restoration: the Yuma East Wetlands: Fred Phillips, principal, Fred Phillips Consulting, Flagstaff, Arizona
3–5 PM Panel B-2: Getting Back to Cases
The current waterfront phenomenon dates back to the mid-70’s and continues unabated. Cities that undertook steps to reclaim their edges with and without success in some instances have been and are moving forward with plans for the future.
  • The Baltimore’s Storied Inner Harbor Began an Enormous Transformation that Continues Apace: David Benn, principal, Quinn Evans Cho Benn, Baltimore, Maryland
  • The Philadelphia Story: From Early Attempts at Penn’s Landing to Dramatic Plans for a $225 
    Million Park to Finally Breech the Seventeen Lane Gap Between Downtown and the Delaware River: Tom Corcoran, retired president, Delaware River Waterfront Corporation, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (invited)
  • The Varied and Widespread Re-Making of The Willamette’s Extensive Waterfronts:
    Mike Houck, executive director, Urban Greenspace Institute, Portland, Oregon (invited)
6-9 PM Reception and Dinner at Colorado River State Historic Park:
A full-fledged Mexican Fiesta awaits you with margaritas, mariachis and merriment! (Walk from Hilton Garden Inn to Colorado River State Historic Park–located directly west of the hotel)

Saturday, January 27

8-9 AM Continental Breakfast

Concurrent Morning Sessions

9–11 AM Panel A-3: The Colorado River in the 21st Century
The panelists will first be provided a sobering assessment of the demands being placed on the river. Responding to the challenges will be representatives from the Yuma farming community and a Mexican environmental organization.
  • The Colorado River Basin Water Supply and Demand Study, and Options to Conserve and Enhance Supply: Jim Cherry, retired area manager, Bureau of Reclamation, Yuma, Arizona
  • Challenges for Agriculture: A Yuma Farmer’s Perspective: Tom Davis, manager, Yuma County Water Users Association, Yuma, Arizona
  • Challenges for the Environment: Can the River Ever Once Again Flow to the Ocean?: Osvel Hinojosa, director of conservation, Pro Natura Noroeste, Sonora, Mexico
9–11 AM Panel B-3: Water Conservation/Innovation: What Cities Can Do
Panelists will address a series of techniques to conserve water and assure resiliency. Encouraging storm water management with such things as green roofs, rain gardens, rain barrels, permeable surfaces and the like has been catching on. Other techniques such as natural bank stabilization, restoring wetland habitats and daylighting will be explored.
  • Water Conservation, Flooding and State of Upper Mississippi – a Thirty Plus Year Story: Kathy Wine, executive director, River Action, Quad Cities, Iowa and Illinois
  • Stormwater Management and Ancillary Water Issues: Richard D. Barrett, principal, design director, MIG, San Diego, California
  • Auckland’s Waterfront – a Model of Sustainability and Resiliency: Rod Marler, Panuku Development, Auckland, New Zealand (invited)
11-11:30 AM Coffee Break
11:30-12:30 AM Closing Plenary: Mary Miss, artist, founder City as Living Laboratory, New York, New York
2-4 PM Walking Tours: Downtown or Riverfront (Optional)
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