1000 North Third Street, Aspen, Colorado 81611
For Immediate Release
Contact: Cristal Logan
Vice President, Aspen
The Aspen Institute
Public Talk on Creative Transportation Solutions
Host: Aspen Institute’s Community Forum for Transportation and Mobility
ASPEN, CO, November 30, 2016 ––The Aspen Institute is pleased to present sustainable transportation expert Jim Charlier as the first speaker in its new Community Forum for Transportation and Mobility series. Charlier, who has done extensive work in the Roaring Fork Valley, will discuss his vision for how we might apply his findings to improve traffic mobility in the upper valley. Charlier will also discuss the influence of economics, demographics, settlement patterns, and technology on transportation systems and mobility, as well as the changing behavior and expectations in both public and private transportation.
This event will take place on Tuesday, December 13, 2016 from 5:30-7:00 pm at the Wheeler Opera House. Attendees will have the opportunity to learn about emerging trends and creative solutions to the traffic and transportation challenges facing Aspen and the upper Roaring Fork Valley, and ask questions of Mr. Charlier. The Aspen Institute Community Forum for Transportation and Mobility is made possible by support from a consortium of local public and private entities, including the City of Aspen, Pitkin County, Town of Snowmass Village, The Aspen Institute, and private citizens.
The talk is free and open to the public. Doors will open at 4:45 pm. Everyone is encouraged to attend.
“Jim has a wealth of experience and is on the forefront of transportation planning and uses a comprehensive approach to community planning in the broadest context. He has a unique ability to integrate social change and technology which could lead us into some new and creative directions to help us solve our transportation issues as a community,” noted Community Forum Taskforce Co-Chair Bill Kane.
The speaker series will take place in tandem with the work of the Community Forum for Transportation and Mobility Taskforce, which is made up of community leaders who are undergoing a community-based process to develop an overall vision for Aspen and the upper Roaring Fork Valley in 20 years. Focusing on quality of life, environmental sustainability, air quality, and social equity, the taskforce is co-chaired by John Bennett and Bill Kane. A goal of the Community Forum is to host a series of public talks to feature speakers who will bring innovative ideas to the community. The public is encouraged to attend all of the evening talks which will take place over the course of the coming months.
Jim Charlier, AICP, is known nationally as an expert on sustainable and multimodal transportation and as a planner with successful, built projects throughout the U.S. He has extensive work experience in Aspen, in the Western US and in resort communities.
Charlier is known for his innovations in community-based transportation planning, and has pioneered the concept of “integrated community planning” which links land use, transportation and community objectives in a strategic framework. His municipal transportation master plans have served as national prototypes for local mobility plans that respond directly to community objectives for economic vitality, quality of life, public health and sustainability.
Charlier is currently providing technical assistance workshops to communities across the United States for both US EPA and Smart Growth America. He has taught classes in transportation and growth management for the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy and teaches courses in Sustainable Urbanism and Sustainable Transportation at the University of Colorado in Boulder as an adjunct. Jim is on the faculty of both the Governor’s Institute of Community Design and the Mayor’s Institute of Community Design. Over the past several years he has worked with Community Builders, a spin-off from the Sonoran Institute, to establish the New Mobility West program, which is providing technical assistance and training for rural places throughout Montana, Idaho, Wyoming and Colorado.
Jim and his firm, Charlier Associates, Inc., have worked in the Aspen area for more than 20 years. Charlier helped prepare the City’s ground-breaking downtown “pedestrian enhancement plan” in the 1990s, which recommended parking and pedestrian improvements that have since been implemented. The firm played a key role in the planning and design of Iselin Park and also helped the City with design of traffic calming improvements on local streets. In 2015, Charlier helped the local Canary Initiative develop a database model that monitors and predicts vehicular travel and vehicle carbon emissions in Aspen. Charlier Associates has conducted three regional travel patterns studies for the Roaring Fork and Colorado River corridors (Aspen to Parachute). The first of these was completed in 1998 and the second in 2005. The study was most recently updated in 2015, and regional trends data from this work will be presented as part of the forum. The firm has been active throughout the greater Roaring Fork region, counting Glenwood Springs, Garfield County, Rifle, and Town of Snowmass Village as current or past clients. Charlier recently helped Glenwood Springs-based Community Builders prepare a street design manual for Colorado DOT that addresses design solutions for state highways through rural cities and towns in Colorado.
John Bennett recently retired from the Aspen Community Foundation’s Cradle to Career Initiative, which is aimed at dramatically increasing youth success across western Colorado. After more than two decades as a business CEO, Bennett moved to the public sector, serving four terms as Aspen’s mayor and overseeing a $40 million budget that produced a surplus each year he was in office. He later served as vice president of the Aspen Institute, co-founder of the Cordoba Initiative, and president of For The Forest, an environmental stewardship organization. He’s a graduate of Yale University.
Bill Kane is an advisory principal at Design Workshop and a 42-year resident of the Roaring Fork Valley. From 1974-1978, he served as planning director for Aspen and Pitkin County, where he authored the Aspen/Pitkin County Growth Management Plan and oversaw the rezoning of Aspen and much of Pitkin County. From 1995-2005, he served as the vice president of planning and development for Aspen Skiing Company. Bill, who currently resides in Basalt, is a commissioner on the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission, and serves on the boards of Great Outdoors Colorado and the Aspen Valley Land Trust.
The Aspen Institute is an educational and policy studies organization. Its mission is to foster leadership based on enduring values and to provide a nonpartisan venue for dealing with critical issues. The Institute is based in Washington, DC; Aspen, Colorado; and on the Wye River on Maryland's Eastern Shore. It also has an office in New York City and an international network of partners.