Grow Smart Academy
2024 Grow Smart Academy
Grow Smart Academy is a free, five-session program designed to educate Lexingtonians on land-use planning and its relationship to our community’s economic development, environment, and quality of life.
If you’re interested in learning more about how land use impacts your daily life — from public transit, walkability, housing affordability, greenspaces, climate, and livelihood — join us at Grow Smart Academy to learn more about these local issues from community experts.
- Important: This program changes from year to year — so alumni are encouraged to register again.
Galina Tachieva, DPZ CoDESIGN, award-winning author, urban planner
Galina Tachieva is the managing partner of DPZ CoDESIGN, directing the work of the firm in the US and around the world. With more than 25 years of expertise in sustainable planning, urban redevelopment and form-based codes, Galina is the author of the “Sprawl Repair Manual”, an award-winning publication by Island Press, which focuses on the retrofit of auto-centric suburban places into complete walkable communities.
Multilingual, Galina has experience with projects across the United States, Latin America, Europe and Russia, including downtowns and urban revitalizations, regional plans, environmental conservation, new communities, and resort towns. Managing complex projects and teams, she has led charrettes and other public processes, from project initiation through implementation.
Galina maintains an active civic engagement. A Fellow of the Congress for the New Urbanism (CNU) she has been leading its national Sprawl Retrofit Initiative. She is a founding member of the Council for European Urbanism (CEU), and she has lectured throughout the world. She has been a visiting lecturer and design critic at Harvard University, the Federal University of the State of Rio de Janeiro (UNIRIO), and at the University of Miami, among others.
Born and raised in Bulgaria, she received her architectural education at the University of Architecture, Civil Engineering and Geodesy in Sofia, Bulgaria. Later, Galina received her Master’s degree in Urban Planning from the University of Miami School of Architecture. Galina is certified by the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP) and is a LEED-Accredited Professional.
- The Sprawl Repair Manual
This program will be held in person at various locations around Lexington.
Session One: Intro to Smart Growth | Tuesday, May 7, 5:30-8:00 p.m. | Kentucky Theatre, 214 E. Main St. Lexington, KY 40507
Session Two: Growing Our City | Tuesday, June 4, 5:30-8:00 p.m. | Location TBD
Session Three: Sustainability and Transportation | Tuesday, July 9, 5:30-8:00 p.m. | Location TBD
Session Four: Promoting Our Farms | Tuesday, August 6, 5:30-8:00 p.m. | Location TBD
Session Five: Land Use and Economic Development | Tuesday, September 17, 5:30-8:00 p.m. | Location TBD
Policy, Pedals, and Pints: A Networking Happy Hour | Tuesday, May 28, 5:30-7 p.m. | West Sixth Brewery, 501 W. Sixth St., Ste. 100, Lexington, KY 40508
Disclaimer: If you are interested in only attending Grow Smart Academy: Session One for Galina Tachieva’s presentation, there is space to indicate so on the registration form below.
Accessibility: If you have any language or accessibility needs or a need for transportation support to attend each session, please contact email@example.com.
The five Grow Smart Academy sessions are held in the evenings to best accommodate the majority of residents’ schedules — from 5:30 p.m.-8:00 p.m.
2023 Grow Smart Academy Details
Keynote Speaker: Jeff Speck
- Bio:Jeff Speck is a city planner and author who advocates internationally for more walkable cities. As Director of Design at the National Endowment for the Arts from 2003 through 2007, he presided over the Mayors’ Institute on City Design and created the Governors’ Institute on Community Design. Prior to his federal appointment, Mr. Speck spent ten years as Director of Town Planning at DPZ & Co., the principal firm behind the New Urbanism movement. Since 2007, he has led Speck & Associates, an award-winning private design consultancy serving mainly American cities. With Andres Duany and Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk, Mr. Speck is the co-author of Suburban Nation, which the Wall Street Journal calls “the urbanist’s bible.” His 2012 book Walkable City was the best-selling city-planning title of the past decade and has been translated into eight languages. He is also the principal author of The Smart Growth Manual and Walkable City Rules. Jeff Speck has been named a fellow of both the American Institute of Certified Planners and the Congress for New Urbanism. He was the 2022 recipient of the Seaside Prize, whose former awardees include Jane Jacobs and Christopher Alexander. His TED talks and YouTube videos have been viewed more than six million times.
Session One: Intro to Smart Growth
Monday, May 8, 5:30-8:00 p.m. | Transylvania University
Session One will serve as our kick-off event to Grow Smart Academy where we will provide basic concepts and examples of smart growth, which will be expanded upon in the following three sessions.
We will feature Jeff Speck, a city planner and author who advocates internationally for more walkable cities. He has been named a fellow of both the American Institute of Certified Planners and the Congress for New Urbanism. He was the 2022 recipient of the Seaside Prize, whose former awardees include Jane Jacobs and Christopher Alexander. His TED talks and YouTube videos have been viewed more than six million times.
Disclaimer: Everyone is welcome to attend Jeff Speck’s keynote presentation at Session One, even those who cannot participate in all four weeks of Grow Smart Academy. Please register in advance here and indicate that you will only be attending this session so we can accommodate all guests.
Jeff Speck, city planner, and author
Jeff Speck is a city planner and author who advocates internationally for more walkable cities. As Director of Design at the National Endowment for the Arts from 2003 through 2007, he presided over the Mayors’ Institute on City Design and created the Governors’ Institute on Community Design. Prior to his federal appointment, Mr. Speck spent ten years as Director of Town Planning at DPZ & Co., the principal firm behind the New Urbanism movement. Since 2007, he has led Speck & Associates, an award-winning private design consultancy serving mainly American cities.
Brittany M. Roethemeier, Executive Director, Fayette Alliance
Session Two: Growing Our City
Tuesday, June 13, 5:30-8:00 p.m. | Red Mile Gaming & Racing
Lexington’s planning and land use policies, set out in our Comprehensive Plan, outline the vision for how we live, work, and play. This session connects land use policy to our everyday quality of life.
Join us as we hear from LFUCG’s Division of Planning staff about the 2045 Comprehensive Plan, how the plan works to address challenges facing our city, and the Goals and Objectives of the updated plan.
Chris Woodall, Manager of Long-Range Planning, City of Lexington
Chris Woodall is the City of Lexington’s Manager of Long-Range Planning, and a certified planner through the American Institute of Certified Planners. He graduated with a Master’s Degree in Urban & Regional Planning from Florida State University with a concentration in growth management. Chris has been planning for the future of central Kentucky for over a decade, having served as the Planning Director in Jessamine County prior to taking his current position.
With the input of over 11,000 citizens, he oversaw the creation of “Imagine Lexington” the City’s 2018 Comprehensive Plan that sets out a vision for how we can grow in a responsible way while preserving and maintaining what sets us apart. Now, five years later, Chris and the City are again asking thousands more residents how they “Imagine Lexington,” this time planning for the year 2045. “Imagine Lexington 2045” is scheduled to be adopted in 2023.
Chris Taylor, Principal Planner in Long-Range Planning, City of Lexington
Chris Taylor has been with the City of Lexington’s Division of Planning for nearly twenty years, and has been a Principal Planner in Long-Range Planning since 2017. He was instrumental in the creation of “Imagine Lexington” the City’s 2018 Comprehensive Plan, and has been committed to implementing that plan and ensuring it doesn’t just sit on the shelf. Mr. Taylor is devoted to addressing Lexington’s housing supply issues through creative solutions, partnerships, and regulatory reform, and is a fierce advocate for acknowledging and working to correct inequities of historic planning practices and policies.
Session Three: Sustainability and Transportation
Tuesday, July 11, 5:30-8:00 p.m. | Red Mile Gaming & Racing
The integration of green infrastructure within our urban core provides an opportunity to mitigate the impacts of climate change while improving the quality of life for citizens and the vibrancy of our city.
Lexington-Fayette County’s productive rural landscape is green infrastructure, and farmland provides the opportunity to sequester carbon to mitigate the impacts of climate change. Limiting urban sprawl is critical to sustainable and equitable growth for all Lexingtonians.
Attendees will learn about improvements to public transit, ongoing projects like Imagine New Circle Road and Imagine Nicholasville Road, as well as how the city is looking at a Complete Streets initiative and utilizing large amounts of federal funding for infrastructure. Additionally, gain insight into three alternative future scenarios projected through 2040 and what they mean for the future of agriculture.
Scott Thompson, Senior Transportation Planner, Bike and Pedestrian Coordinator, Lexington Fayette Urban County Government
Scott is a native of Louisville and came to Lexington in 1997 to pursue a degree from the University of Kentucky in Landscape Architecture. Since graduating in 2001, he has worked in the public and private sectors as a Designer, Project manager, and Resident inspector for projects ranging from residential site design; park designing and master planning; storm and wastewater management; trails, roads, highway design, and planning; and community design and planning. He has always had an interest in public health and how the built environment is directly tied to daily physical activity.
Scott is the Senior Transportation Planner, Bike and Pedestrian Coordinator for the Lexington Fayette Urban County Government and the Lexington Area MPO. My current work involves working to increase bicycle and pedestrian transportation system access, developing safe, high-quality, interconnected facilities for bicycling and walking, and promoting the increase of their use.Fred Combs, Director of Planning, Technology, and Community Relations, Lextran
Fred Combs joined Lextran in 2016 and is currently the Director of Planning, Technology, and Community Relations. In his role at Lextran, Fred oversees a team dedicated to the agency’s technology, building relationships with the community, implementing capital projects, marketing, and long-range planning, among other functions.
In the past year, Fred helped secure roughly $10 million in competitive federal grant awards to incorporate additional compressed natural gas, hybrid electric, and battery electric vehicles into Lextran’s fleet. With Fred’s leadership, Lextran completed a Comprehensive Operations Analysis in 2022 that evaluated the alignment of resources and mobility needs in Lexington and is currently planning the implementation of recommended service improvements in 2023.
Fred also serves as Lextran’s Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Liaison Officer, the Chair of the Lexington Area MPO’s Transportation Technical Coordination Committee, and on the advisory board of Bluegrass Community and Technical College’s Architectural Technology program. Fred is a certified planner as designated by the American Institute of Certified Planners.
Session Four: Promoting Our Farms
Tuesday, August 15, 5:30-8:00 p.m. | Spy Coast Farm
Promoting our beautiful and productive Bluegrass farmland is a key part of Fayette Alliance’s mission. Our unique farms contribute to our identity, economic development, and quality of life. Fayette Alliance advocates for sustainable, responsible, and innovative growth because we know that balancing our irreplaceable Bluegrass farmland and growing an equitable city for all is what makes Lexington-Fayette County extraordinary.
This session will expose our attendees to the significant ways our farmland impacts our community and why smart growth and farmland preservation are important partners in Lexington’s thriving community. Our rural land acts as the factory floor of our signature agricultural industries, providing a wide range of diverse employment opportunities (a $2B annual county economic impact and providing 1 out of 12 jobs), and supporting a growing local food movement that connects more people to the land every day.
Dr. Alison Davis, Professor of Agricultural Economics, University of Kentucky
Dr. Alison Davis is a Professor of Agricultural Economics at the University of Kentucky and the Executive Director of the Community and Economic Development Initiative of Kentucky (CEDIK). CEDIK is an integrated engagement/research center housed within the College of Agriculture, Food and Environment at the University of Kentucky. CEDIK’s mission is to build engaged communities and vibrant economies. Dr. Davis leads a team of fourteen engagement and research staff to support for CEDIK’s four priority areas: economic development, leadership development, community health, and community design.
Dr. Davis’ role is to build relationships across campus, Kentucky, and the South with the goal of promoting a stronger sense of community and an improved economic base in rural areas. Her rural economic development program utilizes workshops, trainings, and educational materials to highlight the importance of community engagement, infrastructure development, regionalism, and the impact of changing public policy on rural communities.
Tiffany Michelle Brown, has worked in the legal industry and successfully managed community-based reform efforts in the non-profit industry, Tiffany Michelle has created a reputation as a powerful advocate for equity and racial justice. Her advocacy for the issues for which she advocates is grounded in her personal experiences. Her passion and life’s purpose for this work can’t be replicated. Today, Tiffany Michelle serves as the first Chief Equity and Implementation Officer for the City of Lexington charged with building out and implementing the recommendations on the Mayor’s new Commission on Race, Justice and Equality. Prior to this, she advocated for equity through a lens of racial and social justice at the Center for Social Justice at the Urban League of Greater Southwestern Ohio. As a social justice advocate, she believes that it is imperative for community-based reformers and institutional policymakers to work together to achieve sustainable and meaningful solutions. A true consensus builder and passionate connection maker, she has a talent for communicating to multiple stakeholders and helping synthesize multiple perspectives to come up with a shared vision and set of goals. Her dedication to public service and advocacy, as well as her gift for telling the story and narrative of her experience and life’s work in a connected, authentic way that resonates with audiences, is fueled by her own trials and triumphs and the countless stories of people who continue to be unfairly met with systemic barriers. Her past professional and personal experiences have ignited a passion for being intentional in her work and created an unrelenting desire to be an agent of change. She routinely engages in thought leadership and partnerships surrounding her deep commitment to empowering young people to develop their own voices and be their own agents of change.
Lisa Lourie grew up in New England where she worked as an ICU/CCU nurse before obtaining her Masters in Health Care Management. Other than the occasional trail ride, she had minimal experience with horses until the age of 42 when she began riding lessons with her then 8-year-old daughter. Lisa started Spy Coast Farm (SCF) in 2003 on Long Island, NY and moved the farm to Lexington, Kentucky in 2008. The farm now breeds between 40-50 foals a year, at least half of which are for clients. Lisa Lourie is committed to the advancement of the equine industry here in America. To that end, Spy Coast Farm offers breeding services and trains young horses for their breeding clients. They offer CEM Quarantine and a state-of-the-art Rehabilitation and Fitness Center and recently opened their Equine Education Center to serve the wide variety of equine practitioners here in Lexington and beyond. Spy Coast also has a large internship program that includes hosting numerous veterinary externs, undergraduate students, international students, as well as an annual 12-month veterinary internship. In 2019, Lisa and the SCF Human Resource Manager attended the Blackburn Correctional Facility Farm Day. Impressed by what they saw, they interviewed potential grooms on the spot and have since hired elite grooms from the TRF/Blackburn program, The Lexington Rescue Mission and Stable Recovery. Spy Coast Farm’s most recent efforts have focused on addressing the needs of at-risk and underserved youth here in Lexington. They work with programs such as Black Men Working, Legacy Equine Academy, Locust Trace, Success Academy and Stables (at CKRH) to offer out-of-classroom learning opportunities that might engage future generations in the equine and agricultural industries. Lisa sits on the U.K. Gluck Equine Research Center Board, The Kentucky Horse Park Foundation Board, and the Midway College Equine Advisory Committee. She also sits on a variety of USEF and USHJA committees. She was awarded the USEF “Breeder of the Year Award” in 2018.
Networking Happy Hour: Bikes, Bubbles + Brunch
Saturday, August 19 | 12-2 p.m. | The Grove, 200 W. Main St.
This free event encourages Grow Smart Academy students to network, celebrate the completion of all four Grow Smart Academy programs, and explore our city — all while enjoying delicious small bites from the Luna food truck at The Grove. Registration to the event, and attendance to Session One, get you a free drink ticket at the event. The Fayette Alliance team will be on-site with information on walking and biking the Town Branch Trail through downtown Lexington.