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Future of Land Use and Development in Colorado Being Examined This Week

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Colorado Open Space

Future land use in the west and beyond is the topic at a two-day conference in Denver starting today.

The University of Denver Sturm College of Law’s Rocky Mountain Land Use Institute’s 20th annual conference will bring together more than 500 people.  They include local government officials, conservationists, academics and others.  Land use is the often forgotten child of the larger environmental movement, but is a very important factor in future planning.

“How we design and implement our land use rules and policies at the local level and up really determines the way we live.  It determines our success as communities in terms of how we use our natural resources, how we live together and how we work together,” says Executive Director of The Land Use Institute, William Shutkin.

This conference will examine several topics, including how the recession and housing crisis will affect future land use issues and trying to reign in sprawl.  It will also look ahead to the next 20 years, which will be affected by a set of drivers shaping the way land use and development will look in the west and beyond.

“Those [drivers] include the growing importance of technology, climate change remains and will continue to be a major driver as we think about our natural resources.  And population, we’re looking across this country at about another hundred million people, about a third of those will be settling here between now and mid-century,” says Shutkin.

The conference kicks off Thursday morning at 8:30 at the University of Denver and runs through Friday.