Last month Allegheny County and the city of Pittsburgh, PA welcomed public works and sustainability professionals to the 2012 Sustainability in Public Works Conference.  Were you there?


This year's conference brought together sustainability experts and public works innovators from across the US and Canada to explore the latest trends, best practices and newest approaches to developing sustainable infrastructure and services in their communities. 


The conference was kicked off with a keynote address from Mayor Patrick Henry Hayes from North Little Rock, AR and current President of ICLEI- Local Governments for Sustainability USA. Mayor Hayes explained to the audience how his commitment the next generation along with the need to provide for economic development in his community led him to undertake an ambitious plan to transform North Little Rock.  Attendees at the conference had many great presentations (visit to see many of the handouts from these presentations) and technical tours to choose from including lessons from Monaca Borough where they are reaping big savings and other benefits  by transforming lighting in their communities; lessons on how a SMARTRAFFIC system can improve highway efficiency; and lessons from two communities who have embraced green infrastructure; and technical  tours to the David L. Lawrence Convention Center and the Allegheny County green roof.  Another highlight of the conference was the buzz around the Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure (ISI) and the EnvisionTM Sustainable Infrastructure Rating System.  There were two excellent presentations that demonstrated how EnvisionTM can be used in the planning and evaluating of projects and exposed attendees to the benefits that using the system can provide.  ISI also had a booth in the exhibit hall where interested attendees could learn more about ISI and how they can get involved. 


All in all the conference was a great success and staff at national could not have done it without the support and assistance from the Western PA Chapter of APWA, Allegheny County.  Both were great hosts.  As a mater of fact, the County Executive issued a proclamation recognizing APWA for its work and commending the association for its efforts to educate its members on sustainability in public works.  (read the Proclamation here).  Finally a big thanks goes to Cathy Trexlor and her team of great volunteers who helped staff ensure that all ran smoothly.  

If you were able to join us in Pittsburgh feel free to share your thoughts below.  If you couldn't make it this year, hopefully you can make it to next year's conference.  Planning is already underway.  Consider submitting a proposal ( for more details) and check back for new details about the 2013 Sustainability in Public Works conference.