CatalystCreativ Speaker Series

Date: March 27th, 2014
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada
Event Host: Catalyst Week & Zappos


The Art of Urban Placemaking; Program-Based Planning for Community Transformation

While technological advances globally continue to race forward, as a species we continue to be plagued by a systems-level lack of access to sanitation services, energy grids, clean drinking water, adequate and safe food supplies, and critical education resources. In this talk, Greg Delaune explains how activists and community-minded individuals everywhere can begin to focus their wealth of talent and energy on solving todays critical environmental and social issues at every scale. Harnessing the potential of Program-Based Planning initiatives can help articulate public-private partnership (P3) models on a local, regional, national, and global scale that adequately share the best practices and basic (already-existing) technological and social innovation solutions that will lead to a more sustainable and just world.

New trends and techniques in experience-based community design are offering new tools for how citizens can engage in the transformation of their local urban environment. Program-Based Planning is a platform that codifyies the functional elements of effective innovation ecosystems development that is:

  • VALUES-BASED; focusing on local citizen engagement, business development, and investment strategies that are formulated to reinforce local ethics, character;
  • ACTIVITIES-ORIENTED; incorporating a diverse mix of business types, recreational facilities, and cultural events that facilitate civic cohesion, healthy lifestyles, and economic vitality;
  • CULTURE-DRIVEN; promoting a community’s unique character and aspirations through initiatives that reinforce local history, culture, and design.

Program-Based Planning extends economic development and urban planning to the fourth (programmatic) dimension, prioritizing the value of local human resource development, impact investing, cultural identity, and environmental quality to be on par with financial returns; recognizing that growing robust economically sustainable communities means cultivating and maintaining of a thriving and diverse innovation ecosystem where creativity, cooperation, and civic engagement are the cornerstones of economic vitality.


Catalyst Week is a dynamic event series with Zappos founder Tony Hsieh and the Downtown Project. Held every fourth week of the month for 12 months, these engagements explore strategic partnerships in philanthropy, wellness, music, fashion, education, and technology. Experts from each industry will immerse themselves in the downtown Las Vegas culture as part of this series, exclusively curated by CatalystCreativ. Attendees will be housed at The Ogden, a high-end apartment complex in the heart of Las Vegas, and work remotely from this site each week. Each attendee will also be invited to participate in a Zappos tour, a downtown tour, and become a part of the community, attending dinners hosted by Vegas leaders and spending time at locally-produced events. Additionally, attendees will be asked to give a filmed TED-style talk where they connect with an audience of social influencers and organizers.