Why do we connect emotionally with some places and not others? Why does that matter? Author and consultant Peter Kageyama will discuss the economic benefits to emotional engagement and best practices for people-centered placemaking at our 2019 Regional Conference: Creative Solutions for Thriving Communities.

This year as CCOG celebrates 50 years of service to the region, the conference’s unifying theme is looking forward to the next half century of building strong, resilient communities. This one-day event, full of big-picture inspiration and locally‐relevant solutions, offers educational, networking and skill-building activities for elected officials, local government staff and civic leaders. Plenary and breakout sessions will provide creative strategies and best practices in the areas of affordable housing, economic growth, transportation, cyber security, Medicaid, redevelopment, emergency response and communications.

Past conference attendees have remarked that the conference delivers value each year and that they are proud to be part of an event that offers practical solutions for many of the challenges that communities face. ACIP credits are available. CLICK HERE to register.

Pre-Conference Workshop: Love Where You Live, Putting Emotional Engagement into Practice

Thursday, March 7, 2019, 9:00 a.m. – Noon
Centralina Council of Governments, 9815 David Taylor Drive, Charlotte, NC 28262

Join Alliance for Innovation Senior Fellow Peter Kageyama, award-winning author of For the Love of Cities and Love Where You Live, for a workshop on creating emotionally-engaging places. This workshop is designed for community leaders who are looking to take simple, immediate and largely inexpensive steps towards a better, more interesting and lovable community. Don’t miss your opportunity for community-specific attention from a national expert!

Highlights Include:
• How to marshal your co-creators, inspired people in your midst that are making things happen in your city
• The importance of starting small
• Finding your way to “yes”
• Embracing temporary
• Finding your FUN

Cost is $90/person. Registration includes lunch and a complimentary copy of Peter’s latest book. Space is limited. AICP credits are available. Communities are encouraged to bring staff teams representing multiple disciplines and experience levels to enhance the discussion. CLICK HERE to register or click here for the event flyer.

Regional Conference: Creative Solutions for Thriving Communities

Friday, March 8, 2019, 8:00 a.m. 3:30 p.m.
UNC Charlotte, Popp Martin Student Center, 8755 Student Union Lane, Charlotte, NC 28223


Peter Kageyama: For the Love of Cities

Why do we connect emotionally with some places and not others? Why does that matter? Author and consultant Peter Kageyama will discuss the economic benefits to emotional engagement and best practices for people-centered placemaking for communities of all sizes. Learn how to fall in love with your city and how to engage your citizens as development resources. Peter will emphasize issues related to community growth and the importance of small projects.



Tim Lowry: Essential Stories for Effective Communication

Stories can effectively communicate vision, goals, values, direction and purpose. A well-told story, strategically placed into personal presentations, advertising campaigns, social media and one-on-one conversations can make a huge difference in political campaigns, board meetings and office management. Learn to replace the sound bite with meaningful stories that show who you are, describe what you are doing, explain why you are taking action and invite others to get involved.


Local and Regional Transit 101

In a region experiencing a growth rate of 120 people per day and known for its economic opportunities and excellent quality of life, will your community be positioned to offer the array of transportation options necessary to maintain or enhance what is in place today? The Transit 101 session will address the most common myths we hear about transit and supply you with the technical language and knowledge to understand what types of transit modes and associated land use decisions will offer your community the greatest value and opportunity for decades to come.

The Changing Face of Healthcare in NC

In a rapidly-changing healthcare environment focused on access, quality and perhaps above all cost, learn about emerging trends in healthcare laws, regulations, funding policies and Medicaid transformations facing North Carolina. With the state and local governments struggling to contain healthcare costs, it is crucial to learn about new efforts related to Medicare and Medicaid reform to help you adapt and be successful. This session will explore issues around access and quality of health care, what drives the cost of health care, what is being done in North Carolina to maintain access and quality while controlling costs.

Creating and Delivering an Interactive Regional Economic Development Strategy

The economic development landscape continues to change in the accelerated, modern era of 247 instantaneous communications and the Internet of Things. How can this region compete and collaborate for future economic opportunities? What strategies can your community implement from the 2017-2022 Prosperity for Greater Charlotte Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy? Hear how we can forge stronger economic ties through use of a new Centralina Economic Development Commission web-based communication platform with innovative real-time data tools.

Welcome to the Skills Economy

This informative session will show how local governments and non-profit organizations can drive organization change and thrive in this new world of work where skills are the new currency. Centralina Workforce Development Board Director David Hollars will offer insights and ideas on how to attract, engage and retain great talent.

Redevelopment Success Stories

Across the region, communities are identifying and reenergizing their assets, turning vacant and underused parcels and buildings into property tax generators. Kannapolis is planning a $52 million downtown ballpark, aimed for a 2020 opening, and Gastonia is planning a 16-acre entertainment district and baseball stadium on the west side of downtown. Both communities are planning for mixed-use developments and investing in their cores to create regional destinations and local economic impacts. Hear how Kannapolis and Gastonia have moved major projects forward through partnerships, a shared vision and clear near-term strategies.

Cyber Security: Preparation and Management

What happens when cyber criminals target your community? Hear from Mecklenburg County officials about their experiences when faced with a ransomware attack in late 2017. Learn about the immediate and longer-term impacts, the steps needed to respond, lessons learned and how the county has adjusted policies and practices – both technologically and behaviorally, in the time since. Learn about the steps your community should be taking now to prepare for the eventual attack.

Lightning Round: Regional “Chatter” on Quality of Life

All around the region communities of all sizes are taking innovative approaches to improve the quality of life for their residents. Topics include mobility, opioid abuse, greenway expansion, economic strategy and water management. You’ll hear a variety of perspectives on creating livable communities in a rapid-fire style from several presenters using a Pecha Kucha-like approach. Pecha Kucha (Japanese for “chatter) was developed as a way to share important ideas in a short amount of time. One simple ground rule applies: 20 slides displayed for 20 seconds each. We’ll give six minutes and 40 seconds to each presenter, then move on to the next one. If you have a short attention span but are interested in best practices for creating places where people want to live, work and grow their businesses, check out this session!

It’s Going to Happen. Resources and Best Practices for Preparing, Managing and Recovering from a Disaster

Major events, incidents and disasters can strain community services and infrastructure at all stages (before, during and after). This session will focus on best practices and resources available to local governments to help plan and prepare for how to respond, manage and recover from major events, incidents and disasters.

What’s Housing Got to Do with It?

Housing to meet the needs of those working, living and aging is becoming increasingly challenging for many of our communities. This session will engage attendees to identify barriers and potential practical solutions for creating housing that supports walkable, affordable and vibrant neighborhoods with a sense of place.

CLICK HERE to register for the conference and/or the workshop.

Silver Level Sponsors

Bronze Level Sponsors

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Contact Kelly Weston at kweston@centralina.org or ccogconference@centralina.org. Interested in sponsoring? Review our sponsor and exhibitor opportunities, or contact Bobby Williams at bwilliams@centralina.org.

Conference Materials

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Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. Auxiliary aids and services available upon request to individuals with disabilities.