Higher-education leaders, signatories of the American College & Universities Presidents' Climate Commitment (ACUPCC), and Columbia College Chicago will be hosting a conference beginning Wednesday, Oct. 14, to discuss climate change and share strategies for integrating sustainability into the curriculum and operations to help achieve climate neutrality. GreenTown is a zero-waste, carbon-neutral event.

Columbia College Chicago will host a pre-conference session, bringing together leaders in the higher-education sector to detail what other institutions are doing to combat climate change and craft their colleges’ and universities’ climate action plan.

The pre-conference will feature several speakers, including:

• Alicia Berg, vice president of campus environment, Columbia College
• Norman Christopher, director of sustainability, Grand Valley State University
• Mike Corby, executive vice president, Integrated Architecture
• Michelle Dyer, vice president, Second Nature, ACUPCC
• Robert Koester, professor of architecture, Ball State University
• James Moyer, assistant vice president of facilities, Grand Valley State University
• Jerry Weber, president, College of Lake County

Main conference sessions on Thursday, Oct. 15, include:

• “Developing a Sustainable Community from the Ground Up: An Urban and Suburban Case Study”
• “Green Infrastructure: Green Alleys to Pervious Paving to Rain Gardens”
• “Energy Efficient Homes: Creative Financing to Achieve Results”
• “Residential Food Scrap Collection and Municipal Composting”
• “Alternative Transportation: Multi-modal Sustainable Transportation Planning”
• “Sustainable Urbanism: Integrating Planning, Architecture and the Environment into Community”
• “Great Design, Green Design: The New Columbia College Chicago Media Production Center”

Main conference speakers on Thursday, Oct. 15, include:

• Richard M. Daley, mayor, Chicago (invited)
• Will Allen, CEO, Growing Power
• Steve Bellone, supervisor, Babylon, N.Y.
• Bob Dixson, mayor, Greensburg, Kan.
• Douglas Farr, author, CEO, Farr Associates
• Jeanne Gang, principal, Studio Gang Architects
• George Heartwell, mayor, Grand Rapids
• Dean Kubani, environmental programs division manager, Santa Monica
• Suzanne Malec-McKenna, commissioner, Chicago Department of Environment
• Katie McClain, Chicago city director, Clinton Climate Initiative
• Geoff Rathbone, general manager, solid-waste management services, Toronto
• Rob Sadowsky, executive director, Active Transportation Alliance