SOURCE: City of San Jose, California

October 15, 2008 19:03 ET

Great Cities Speakers Series Presents Doug Farr Discussing "Sustainable Urbanism"

Integration of Architecture, City Planning and Nature to Be Focus of Evening Presentation

SAN JOSE, CA--(Marketwire - October 15, 2008) - Doug Farr, author of Sustainable Urbanism: Urban Design with Nature and chair, U.S. Green Building Council's LEED for Neighborhood Development, will be featured at the 2008 Great Cities Speakers Series, 6-7 p.m., Monday, October 20, at the San Jose Repertory Theatre, 101 Paseo De San Antonio. A reception will follow at 7 p.m. to encourage further discussion. This presentation and reception are free to the public. However, reservations are strongly recommended and can be made via email to

Farr's talk, titled "Sustainable Urbanism," will discuss best practices for designing sustainable neighborhoods and sustainable corridors.

In particular, Farr will review a range of case studies to demonstrate how cities can change the built environment to benefit generations to come.

According to Farr, urban sprawl negatively impacts the environment and further leads to climate change challenges.

"Cities that begin to integrate walkable, transit-served urbanism along with high performance green buildings and associated infrastructure into their current developments and ongoing plans will be the future leaders both in sustainability and livability," Farr said.

Based in Chicago, Farr is an architect, urban designer and the founding principal and president of Farr Associates. He has served as co-chair of the Environmental Task Force of the Congress for the New Urbanism, chair of the AIA Chicago Committee on the Environment, and chair of the U.S. Green Building Council's LEED for Neighborhood Development (LEED-ND) Core Committee.

Farr's book, Sustainable Urbanism: Urban Design with Nature, was hailed by Chicago Tribune architecture critic Blair Kamin as a "thoughtful book propelled by visionary energy and desire to integrate architecture, city planning and nature for a better way of life."

Taking part in the discussion with Farr is James MacGregor, publisher of the Silicon Valley/San Jose Business Journal. MacGregor came to the Business Journal in August 2007, from a sister publication, the San Francisco Business Times. MacGregor grew up near Toronto and graduated from Bishop's University in the province of Quebec. His career took him west, as a sales consultant in Vancouver, British Columbia, at Seaboard Advertising and Rogers Broadcasting. Later, he was general manager of Obie Media Corp. in St. Louis before joining the San Francisco Business Times in 2002.

Produced by San Jose's Office of Cultural Affairs, 1stACT Silicon Valley and the Commonwealth Club of California, the Great Cities Speakers Series engages residents, and business and civic leaders as well as those who will be directly impacted by the evolution of the Envision San Jose General Plan 2040 -- the key planning document that will guide San Jose's growth, character, and service ambitions over the next 10-30 years. This series of monthly public lectures is designed to provoke thought, discussion and imagination about the city of the future and to bring important outside perspectives to local and regional efforts on civic planning, culture, art and design. The lectures are free.

The Great Cities Speaker Series is also supported by the American Institute of Architects-Santa Clara Valley Chapter, the American Planning Association (APA) California Chapter-Northern Section, the Fairmont Hotel San Jose, the San Jose Repertory Theater and the San Jose State University Department of Urban and Regional Planning.


The Office of Cultural Affairs is part of the City's Office of Economic Development. Together, they foster cultural and economic development as related strategies for building San Jose as the creative center of Silicon Valley. The Office of Cultural Affairs coordinates services for outdoor events and festivals, offers financial support for arts and culture providers, supports arts education, and leads the development of public art works throughout the city. For more information, please visit


From its founding in 1777 as California's first city, San Jose has been a leader driven by its spirit of innovation. Today, San Jose stands as the largest city in Northern California and the Capital of Silicon Valley -- the world's leading center of innovation. The city, the 10th largest in the U.S., is committed to remaining a top-ranked place to do business, work, live, play and learn. For more information, visit


1stACT Silicon Valley is a broad network of regional civic, cultural, and business leaders working to catalyze participation and investment at the intersection of art, creativity, and technology. 1stACT strives to create an authentic sense of place in Silicon Valley that fuels community pride, broad participation, and philanthropic investment. Please visit


The Commonwealth Club of California is the nation's oldest and largest public affairs forum, bringing together its more than 18,000 members for over 400 annual events on topics ranging across politics, culture, society and the economy. The Club has offices in San Francisco and San Jose, with regular events in both cities, as well as programs in the East and North Bay. Please visit,

Contact Information

  • Contact
    Steven Brewster
    (415) 577-8851 mobile
    San Jose Office of Economic Development
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    Brendan Rawson
    1stACT Silicon Valley
    (408) 200-2020 ext. 105
    Email Contact