Thursday, May 25, 2017


Reception to Follow

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BMW Zentrum
1400 Highway 101 S, Greer, SC 29651 

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Megan Zapf
Ten at the Top

2017 Our Upstate Vision Forum:

 "Shaping Our Future" 

Presented By:

The Our Upstate Vision Forum Series was created to provide an opportunity to discuss issues that are impacting current and future growth in the Upstate region. We are pleased for this second forum of 2017 to be convened as a partnership between Ten at the Top, The Riley Institute at Furman and Upstate Forever.

Project Background:
The 10-county Upstate region is growing. By 2040, our region's population is projected to reach nearly 1,750,000 - an increase of 64% since 1990. How and where we grow will have real impacts on our quality of life - affecting commute times and transportation choices, air and water quality and our pocket books. The Shaping Our Future Growth Scenarios Analysis is an opportunity to explore and debate alternative regional visions for growth keeping in mind their associated fiscal, environmental and quality of life trade-offs. Scenario planning tools have been used to evaluate the impacts of competing development scenarios including current growth trends. For more information, visit www.ShapingOurFutureUpstateSC.org

Shaping Our Future Scenario Analysis:
At the Forum, Upstate Forever, Ten at the Top, and The Riley Institute at Furman will unveil the findings of the study which was guided by a steering committee representing the business sector, local governments and utilities, and community organizations; a technical advisory committee; several focus groups; and community feedback. The study's results will provide a valuable resource demonstrating the wide-ranging impacts of varying growth futures and recommendations for how local communities can work to achieve their visions for future growth. Precursors to this study include Upstate Growth Study, Upstate Reality Check, Upstate Shared Growth Vision and the 2015 Shaping Our Future Speaker Series. 

Key Players:
The one-year study was conducted by a multi-disciplinary consultant team led by City Explained in conjunction with Stantec and Urban3. This effort was made possible thanks to the generosity of Hollingsworth Funds, Greater Greenville Association of Realtors, Ten at the Top, the Riley Institute at Furman University, Upstate Forever and New Belgium Brewery.

Upstate Regional Forum - $10 per person
The regional forum will look at the results of the Shaping Our Future Analysis and what these results mean for the future of the Upstate and our residents. There will be a presentation from the principals of City Explained and Urban3 followed by some remarks from Upstate leaders who are among those involved in land-use decision-making within our region.

Joe Minicozzi is the principal of Urban3, a consulting firm created by Asheville real estate developer, Public Interest Projects. Urban3's work in pioneering geo-spatial representation of economic productivity has prompted a paradigm shift in understanding the economic potency of urbanism and the value of well-designed cities. Their studies for municipalities across the United States and Canada have affected the reevaluation of public policy and a broader understanding of market dynamics created by tax policy. Joe is a sought after lecturer on city planning issues and his work has been featured in numerous journals and at international conferences. He is a founding member of the Western North Carolina-based, non-profit Asheville Design Center. He holds a Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Miami and Master of Architecture and Urban Design from Harvard University. 

Matt Noonkester has 20 years of experience managing projects that help local, regional state government officials tackle difficult public policy planning issues. He has extensive experience using geographic information system (GIS) software to measure the built environment and leading community groups through a regional planning process. Mr. Noonkester is a CommunityViz classroom instructor, and routinely speaks at professional conferences, expert panel sessions, and technical user group meetings on the topic of scenario planning. He has also partnered with staff and elected officials throughout the United States to prepare regional growth studies, comprehensive plans, small area plans, corridor studies, capital improvement plans, land development regulations, urban design guidelines, development impact fee ordinances, and other special studies consistent with state law and community context. Before forming City Explained, Inc. in 2015, Mr. Noonkester owned another successful planning firm, led a community planning team at two large planning and engineering firms, and served in the public sector, holding the position of Zoning Compliance Planner for the City of Bloomington, Indiana. 

Please join us as we engage in constructive dialogue to ensure the Upstate remains a great place to live, learn, work, and raise a family!  

The event will take place:

2:30-4:30 p.m. on May 25, 2017

Networking reception to follow

BMW Zentrum, 1400 Highway 101 S., Greer, SC 29651

Cost to attend is $10* and advance registration is required.

*Cancelations must be made within 14 days of event to receive a refund.

Forum Series Supporting Sponsors:

     GSP logo 


Shaping Our Future Forum Supporting Sponsors:

  Trehel Logo