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Mayors to discuss sustainability challenges facing cities

September 17, 2012

Mesa, Tempe and Phoenix leaders asked to share their vision for sustainable future

What are Arizona’s desert cities doing to become more livable – more sustainable – in planning for transportation, housing, energy, water usage and population growth?

The mayors of three of Arizona’s largest cities – Mesa, Phoenix and Tempe – will address sustainability challenges and opportunities for their cities during a panel discussion from 6 to 7:30 p.m., Sept. 25, at the Mesa Arts Center. They will be asked to describe their city’s unique challenges and explain their vision for a sustainable future.

The forum, which is free and open to the public, is hosted by ASU’s Global Institute of Sustainability. RSVPs are requested and may be made online.

The panel will include Scott Smith, who has been mayor of Mesa since June 2008; Mark Mitchell, who was sworn in as mayor of Tempe in July; and Greg Stanton, who was sworn in as mayor of Phoenix this past January.

“Almost all cities of any size face a similar set of sustainability challenges,” says Rob Melnick, executive dean of ASU’s Global Institute of Sustainability. Melnick, who will moderate the discussion, conducts research on urban growth and economic development, and is the former director of ASU’s Morrison Institute for Public Policy.

“There are differences in scale, demographics and weather, but cities actually have more in common than they think,” Melnick said, noting cities often learn from each other and share best practices.

“Mayors around the world are talking about turning their cities green and are beginning to design programs and policies to achieve this goal,” Melnick said.

The forum is set to take place in the Virginia G. Piper Repertory Theater at the Mesa Arts Center, 1 E. Main St., Mesa. Directions and parking information are online. A dessert reception is planned after the program.

This community event is part of the Sustainability Series presented by the Global Institute of Sustainability, which includes ASU’s School of Sustainability. Speakers in this series discuss a range of environmental, social and economic topics. Additional information is available online or at 480-965-2975.

Lauren Kuby,