Mayor Bob Walters will travel to Minnesota today to meet with mayors of communities similar to Lawrence for a 2 -day forum on improving city design.
Walters will be the last of seven mayors to present a case study on city land-use planning at the conference in Minneapolis called "The Mayor's Institute on City Design: Midwest."
Its purpose is to acquaint mayors with design ideas and other ways to improve the livability of their communities, Walters said.
The forum is sponsored by the University of Minnesota's Design Center for American Urban Landscape.
Forum organizers chose Lawrence as a case study for the conference because it is experiencing a lot of growth, said Carol Swenson, a conference coordinator.
EACH MAYOR presents a case history of a design or planning problem in their community. Walters' topic will be the South Lawrence Trafficway Corridor Land Use Plan.
A round table discussion with the mayors and urban design professionals will follow each presentation, which could generate some ideas that could be applied to Lawrence, Walters said.
"If there are some ideas, some things other people have done that are transferable, I'm interested in learning about that and seeing if we can make it work it here," he said.
Walters' presentation will focus on what was considered when developing the South Lawrence Trafficway Corridor Land Use Plan.
Adopted by the city-county planning commission in 1989, the plan outlines recommended agricultural, residential, commercial and industrial use along the trafficway, as well as areas for parks, recreation and open space.
WALTERS SAID some of the other case study topics easily could apply to Lawrence, such as preserving a city's downtown historical features and retail development.
Because his one-year term as mayor will end in a few months, Walters asked conference organizers if he was the appropriate representative for Lawrence.
"They said, `You've still got one year to go on the city commission, so you can still make a contribution to the city,'" Walters said.
Other cities represented at the forum are Bloomington, Ind.; Solon, Ohio; Brookfield, Wis.; Southfield, Mich.; Schaumburg, Ill.; and University City, Mo.
Similar conferences on city design will be conducted in other regions of the United States. The program is sponsored in cooperation with the Design Arts Program of the National Endowment for the Arts.
The NEA and the University of Minnesota Design Arts Program are picking up the tab for Walters' visit.