Downtown Revitalization Conference ‘Beyond the Structures’ to be held in Reading

Pennsylvania Downtown Center has announced it will host its 2021 Annual Statewide Conference in downtown Reading on September 12th through September 15th.

With the theme, “DESIGN: Beyond the Structures”, the conference will discuss designing for the future: integrating new approaches, ideals, values and cultures all while preserving the historic characteristics that make communities unique. In addition, conference goers will explore the many facets of DESIGN: How buildings are used, streets, sidewalks, all spaces of cities, towns and neighborhoods.

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Keynote speaker, Dr. Mariela Alfonzo, founder and CEO of State of Place and Mary Means, Founder of Main Street, will take conference goers on immersive mobile workshops in the City of Reading and the boroughs of Boyertown, Hamburg and West Reading along with sessions at the DoubleTree by Hilton Reading led by experts in the field.

“PDC is excited to bring PA’s premier revitalization conference to Reading and Berks Counties’ surrounding Main Street and Elm Street communities. This region is an ideal place to celebrate the past and the present; highlighting local cultural heritage as we add our own 21st Century twists to the events and celebrations that many of our Main Street and Elm Street communities revel in today”, said Julie Fitzpatrick, executive director, Pennsylvania Downtown Center.

“Our host sites provide excellent examples of how people live and move, and how those activities are changing. We need to consider designing for the future – from creating Smart Cities, and reinventing our parking ‘challenges’, to identifying ways to integrate new approaches, new ideas, new values, and new cultures into our communities. We look forward to seeing you in Reading, in September.”

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Mayor Eddie Morán added, “we are thrilled to welcome all participants of the Pennsylvania Downtown Center’s conference to Reading. It is most appropriate for Reading to host this conference as we earnestly engage in a transformational plan for our own Downtown corridor. Participants will leave our Downtown and our City inspired by its history, architecture, vibrancy, and potential.

The community is also invited to attend a free “Community Revitalization 101” presentation on Sunday, September 12th. Registration is required.

“The County of Berks is thrilled to host this year’s downtown conference and foster the ongoing discussion about how to breathe new life into our communities while maintaining our distinct local flavors,” said David N. Hunter Sr., Executive Director of the Berks County Planning Commission.

“We believe it is important to be intentional about every choice we make while planning for the future of our County to effectively meet residents’ needs in a creative and meaningful way. We’re excited to learn and grow together at this year’s conference.”

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