It’s the question on all our minds: How do we protect the livability of our community in the face of such dramatic growth and change? The answer is clear, it’s up to us to define our future together by learning about the challenges facing Bend, understanding how to shape the outcomes and engaging to implement innovative and effective solutions for our community.
These are the goals of the Bend Livability Project, an initiative of Bend 2030 sponsored by the Bend Tech Ecosystem, the National Association of Realtors, Central Oregon Association of Realtors, the City of Bend and many more community partners, which aims to educate, empower and engage our community to make Bend one of the most livable cities in America through innovation.
Partly a celebration of our city and partly a massive town hall meeting, the Bend Livability Project, taking place June 2-5, is driving diverse populations in Bend, including millennials, adult professionals, youth and seniors, to learn about and shape Bend’s future through three days of films, parties, public art projects, lectures, panels, workshops, walking tours and events. Bendites of all ages and backgrounds are invited to make a personal commitment to ensuring the future livability of Bend and to plug their energy directly into projects that will transform their hopes for our future into reality.
A broad network of partners and sponsors have come together over the past eight months to design the project, which is proudly championed by the Bend Tech Ecosystem, a group of more than 20 local tech companies that came together to pledge $20,000 to the Bend Livability Project over two days. This group is aiming to use its support of the project to encourage Bend to become the most livable city in America through innovative strategies and tools.
“This is a pivotal moment in Bend’s future and the tech industry with its forward thinking and innovation focus knows that right now is the time to be bold in shaping our City,” said Preston Callicott, organizer of the Bend Tech Ecosystem group and owner of local software development company Five Talent. “We love the Bend of today, but we think differently. We think every city should have the goal of being the most livable city in America. We think unique solutions. What’s the best out there? Let’s be better than that.”
Every event throughout the project, from a BendFilm event at the Tower Theatre to the Future Fair at Art Walk to the 15 workshop sessions of the Bend Livability Conference, will be infused with the spirit of innovation and forward thinking as the path to solving our community’s greatest challenges such as neighborhood livability, housing and transportation.
“The Bend Livability Project steering committee – including diverse partners such as COAR, OSU-Cascades, the American Institute of Architects, the American Planning Association, the Bend Chamber of Commerce and City Club of Central Oregon – is proud to offer residents with real opportunities to engage in new housing working groups, multimodal transportation coalitions, and tactical policy development groups that have the potential to greatly shape the outcomes of major issues in Bend,” said Erin Foote Marlowe, executive director of Bend 2030, which is organizing the project.
To reserve tickets and passes, see sponsors and partners, volunteer or learn more about the project, visit bendlivability.org.