September 27, 2016

Southern Nevada Strong summit gathers more than 130 community leaders to showcase valley’s successes through public and private partnerships

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 27, 2016
Media Contacts:
Monika Bertaki, RTC, (702) 676-1749 office, (702) 354-3561 cell
Catherine Lu, RTC, (702) 676-1788 office, (702) 545-7119 cell

Southern Nevada Strong summit gathers more than 130 community leaders to showcase valley’s successes through public and private partnerships
Keynote speaker, award-winning author Charles Montgomery addresses impact of city design on community happiness

Click to tweet: .@SNVStrong gathered more than 130 community leaders at #SNSSummit2016 to showcase valley’s partnership successes

LAS VEGAS – Much of the Las Vegas metropolitan region’s development over the next 20 years hinges on the implementation of the Southern Nevada Strong (SNS) regional plan, whose stakeholders include a wide array of partners poised to make differences in the community. Yesterday, more than 130 stakeholders gathered at the Springs Preserve for a half-day summit to discuss the past year’s successes in creating complete communities through public, private and non-profit partnerships.

The annual SNS summit featured speakers who are making strides in implementing the valley’s first federally recognized regional plan. The plan’s four major goals include improving economic competitiveness and education; investing in complete communities where residents have access to quality education, housing options, employment opportunities and transportation; increasing transportation choices; and building capacity for implementation.

“With more than two million people living in Southern Nevada and projections close to three million residents by 2045, we came to the quick realization that we are getting bigger and we need to get stronger,” said SNS Steering Committee Chair and City of Henderson Councilwoman Debra March, as she kicked off the summit. “For the last year, we have worked together to take the strategies identified in the regional plan and turn them into reality, to ultimately create a stronger and happier Southern Nevada.”

Governor’s Office of Economic Development Director Steve Hill launched into an overarching discussion of the region’s economic development plans by sharing the events that led to securing deals with Faraday Future.

City of North Las Vegas Assistant City Manager Ryann Juden and Land Development Associates owner David Brown collaboratively discussed the inception of APEX Industrial Park and economic recovery of the city.

Southern Nevada Health District (SNHD) Chief Health Officer Dr. Joseph Iser and Three Square Chief Operating Officer Dan Williams addressed access to health care and healthy food. The new Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP), shared by Dr. Iser, identified SNHD’s priorities to build a healthy community that includes access to care, prevention of chronic diseases, and an increase in funding for health programs. Williams expanded by sharing Three Square’s work to eliminate food deserts through collection and distribution of food to those who need it most.

The theme of “access” continued with the third discussion between City of Las Vegas Deputy Director of Public Works Mike Janssen and University of Nevada – Las Vegas Vulnerable Users Project Executive Director Erin Breen. The two highlighted the current work being done in downtown Las Vegas with the addition of 47 new bike lanes, 89 miles of enhanced bike facilities and 23 miles of new multi-use trails. In addition, Breen shed light on the need for better infrastructure along high-traffic corridors such as Maryland Parkway and Boulder Highway.

City of Henderson Director of Community Development Stephanie Garcia-Vause and Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada (RTC) Regional Planning Manager Rae Lathrop detailed how the City of Henderson created SNS and then transitioned it to the RTC for implementation. The City of Henderson developed its own comprehensive plan, Henderson Strong, to maintain the prominent principles developed in SNS.

Keynote speaker Charles Montgomery, award-winning author of Happy City, Transforming our Lives through Urban Design, concluded the summit with an in-depth look at how city and neighborhood designs have a profound effect on the community’s health and happiness. He provided a frank assessment of some of the obstacles the region faces, such as the tendency to sprawl neighborhoods outside of the community core. Montgomery, who has advised urban planners and policymakers across North America and the United Kingdom, cited a variety of research that has found that people are happier in walkable communities.

SNS continues to engage community partners and implement strategies that better the livelihood of the entire region. For more information about Southern Nevada Strong and the regional plan, visit: www.SouthernNevadaStrong.org

About Southern Nevada Strong
Southern Nevada Strong (SNS) is a collaborative effort to create and sustain neighborhoods where residents can have access to quality education, a variety of housing choices, good-paying jobs and transportation options. Driven by the Southern Nevada Strong Regional Plan, the valley’s first federally recognized regional plan, SNS provides a blueprint for improving economic competitiveness and education, investing in complete communities, and increasing transportation alternatives. For more information, visit the plan’s new site: www.SouthernNevadaStrong.org.

Senator Scott Hammond, keynote speaker Charles Montgomery, RTC General Manager Tina Quigley and Senator Mark Manendo at the Southern Nevada Strong summit on Sept. 26

CAPTION: Senator Scott Hammond, keynote speaker Charles Montgomery, RTC General Manager Tina Quigley and Senator Mark Manendo at the Southern Nevada Strong summit on Sept. 26

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